Don't Get Caught Unprepared! What To Do BEFORE The Power Goes Out
Mar 13, 2018 12:45AM
By Bill Gilman
MEMA has published the following tips for what to do as a storm approaches the area but BEFORE your power goes out:
- Be informed by receiving alerts, warnings, and public safety information before, during, and after emergencies. Download the Massachusetts Alerts app.
- Enroll in your community’s local notification system to receive calls, texts, or emails on your cellphone. Contact your local public safety officials to enroll.
- Sign up for text or email alerts from your utility providers for outage updates.
- Create and review your family emergency plan.
- Assemble an emergency kit. Make sure you have alternate charging methods (such as auto, solar, or crank chargers) for cellphones and other devices that require power.
- Prepare your home:
- Ensure that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working and have fresh batteries.
- Consider purchasing a generator to provide power during an outage. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and learn how to use it safely before an outage.
- Ensure that you have sufficient heating fuel. Consider safe backup heating options such as fireplaces or woodstoves.
- Know how to operate the manual release lever for your electric garage door opener.
- Have a landline phone with a corded receiver.
- If you have life-support devices, such as home dialysis or breathing machines, or other medical equipment or supplies, that depend on electricity:
- Talk to your health care provider about how to use them during a power outage;
- Contact your local electric company and equipment suppliers about your power needs. Some utility companies will put you on a "priority reconnection service" list;
- Let the fire department know that you are dependent on life-support devices; and
- If you have medication that requires refrigeration, check with your pharmacist for guidance on proper storage during an extended outage.
If an impending storm is expected to cause power outages, consider these additional tips to prepare:
- Fully charge your cellphone, laptop, and other electronic devices.
- If you have a water supply (such as a well-water pump system) that could be affected by a power outage, fill your bathtub and spare containers with water. The water in the bathtub should be used for sanitation purposes only. You can pour a bucket of this water directly into the toilet bowl to flush it.
- Keep your car’s gas tank full. Pumps at gas stations may not work during a power outage.
- Set your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings to keep food cold (but remember to reset them back to normal once power is restored).
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