Things to do before the storm
- Store away some bottled water. This will be handy if you are on a well that runs off your electric service.
- Keep on hand extra flashlights and a battery-powered radio. Also store some extra batteries for the radio and flashlights. Candles are another item to have on hand.
- Have a good supply of nonperishable food, such as canned goods, powdered milk, dry cereal, and dried fruits.
- Plan for an alternate place to stay. Perhaps there is a relative or friend that may not be affected by a storm the way you would be.
- If you think you might ride out the storm, store away some blankets in case your heat is not working during the outage.
Things to do during the storm
- Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed while the power is out. The food in your freezer will stay frozen 24 hours if the door remains closed
- If you see fallen power lines or poles, stay away from them. Let the professional crews from the Co-op repair them
- Call the Co-op to report your outage. Don’t assume someone else will call
- If you can go to a friend’s or relative’s home that has power, go.
Do you or a loved one have special medical needs?
- Plan ahead for your life-support needs.
- If you can, spend time with a friend or relative during an outage.
- Alternatively, plan to use a backup generator or power source, such as a battery backup system. PLEASE NOTE: If you use a generator, you’re responsible for its safe installation. The use and maintenance of any backup power is also your responsibility.
- Have an alternate plan in place to ensure the continuity of any life-support needs. This may include making special arrangements to spend time with a friend or relative during an outage or using a temporary or back up electricity generation source like batteries or a generator.
- Arrange for transportation to a known facility that will have emergency power.
- Keep important phone numbers for your doctor, life-support equipment supplier and local electricians in a convenient location.
- Ensure that you have a back-up telephone that does not require electricity (cordless phones may not work without electricity).
- Have a battery-powered radio on hand with new batteries to stay aware of news and other information in a convenient location
- Keep a flashlight and extra batteries in a convenient location
- Alert your cooperative of your special needs and get form signed from doctor.
Emergency Storm Kit
If a power outage strikes at 4 a.m., you do not want to stumble around in the dark with a flashlight trying to pack a bag. Instead, pack some clothes and personal items now and, since you may not know how long a power outage will last, pack for at least a couple of days. Remember to pack personal hygiene items such as soap, shampoo, a toothbrush and toothpaste. Include medicines and vitamins. Don't forget underwear and socks!
Pack an Emergency Bag
Buy emergency supplies before an emergency happens. Many power outages are short-lived, but some may last days. Here are some things to consider for a long-term outage. Stock up on:
Outage Preparation Checklist
Refrigerated Food Safety
Refrigerated food must be kept at temperatures of 40 degrees to avoid spoiling. Do not taste food to figure out if it's safe to eat.
- A closed refrigerator will keep food safe for about four hours.
- A closed freezer will maintain food quality for about 48 hours if full, 24 hours if half full.
- 50 pounds of dry ice will keep a freezer cold for two days.
If your power outage lasts longer than four to eight hours, discard the following items:
- Milk products (except butter)
- Fresh meats, poultry and seafood
- Soft cheeses, low-fat cheese and shredded cheese
- Creamy-based dressings, gravy and spaghetti sauce
After an extended power outage, discard all previously frozen products except breads, nuts, hard cheeses, fruit juices.
Tip: Use Mother Nature to your to your advantage during the winter outage and gather accumulated snow to protect your refrigerated foods.