A power outage is when the electric power goes out unexpectedly. The power outage can affect your entire community. You can expect the power outage to disrupt communication, water and transportation. Businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, and any other services will most likely close. It can cause food supply to spoil and water to become contaminated. It can also prevent medical devices from operating.
What You can Do During a Power Outage
If you do not have immediate access to power, you want to keep your refrigerator and freezer closed. This will help keep your food from spoiling quickly. If you have access to a generator, be sure to have it setup outdoors and away from your windows. Disconnect your appliances to avoid any damages from electrical surges in the system. You can setup a plan for your medical devices that require power. Lastly, be sure to check on your neighbors and see if they need any assistance.
What you can do Prepare
The first thing you can do to help is to try and have an inventory list with the items you have that require electricity. If you have any medical devices, you can contact your provider about having an outage plan to help keep your devices powered or refrigerated. Try and have some alternative source of power for when the lights go out (generator, batteries, etc). If you have a home phone, you need to determine if it will work in a power outage and how long it will last. You need to have flashlights with extra batteries for every member of the family. Keep your mobile devices charged and have your gas tanks full.
What you can do During
When the power goes out the first thing to consider is your refrigerator and freezer. Keep them closed to ensure your food stays cool for as long as possible. The refrigerator can last for hours and a freezer can stay cool for up to 48 hours. When the cooling is no longer available, try and use a portable cooler with ice and monitor the temperature with a thermometer. It is best to have food that does not require refrigeration.