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.
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:
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.