In 2013, extreme cold and weather storms resulted in 46 deaths, according to the National Weather Service. Wintery mixes can lead to power outages which can put you and your family at risk. In the event of a power outage this winter, check out these safety tips to help you prepare:
1. Keep flashlights, batteries, and a battery-powered radio on hand.
2. Never use candles as they pose a fire hazard.
3. During the power outage, resist the temptation to call 911 for information – that is what your battery-powered radio is for.
4. Flick down all light switches except one so you know when your power is back on.
5. Keep your car fuel tank at least half-full.
6. Keep extra cash on hand.
7. Check on elderly loved ones, neighbors and friends who may need assistance during an outage.
8. Put layers of warm clothing on. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors.
9. If using a gas heater or fireplace, be sure the area is properly ventilated.
10. Keep a supply of canned and non-perishable foods, medicine, baby supplies, and pet food. Be sure to have at least one gallon of water per person per day on hand.
11. Avoid opening the fridge or freezer. You want to keep the food cold as long as possible.
12. Do not run a generator inside a home or garage. Use gas-powered generators only in well-ventilated areas.
13. Don’t plug emergency generators into electric outlets or hook them directly to your home’s electrical system – as they can feed electricity back into power lines, putting you and line workers in danger.
14. Consider purchasing and professionally installing a permanent home generator.
15. When power is restored, wait a few minutes before turning on major appliances to help eliminate further problems caused by a sharp increase in demand.