A power outage is when the electrical power goes out unexpectedly, potentially, lasting a few hours. For that reason, it is important to know how to protect yourself during an extended power outage.
- Find Alternate Power Source. Plan for batteries and alternative power sources to meet your needs when the power goes out, such as a portable charger or power bank. Have flashlights for every household member. Determine whether your home phone will work in a power outage and how long battery backup will last. Remember, never use a generator indoors.
- Appliances. Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges. Install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Food Storage. Keep freezers and refrigerators closed. A refrigerator will keep food cold for four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. If you are in doubt, monitor temperatures with a thermometer and throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher. Maintain a few days’ supply of nonperishable food and water.
- Know Your Medical Needs. If you rely on electricity for any medical needs, make a power outage plan for medical devices or refrigerated medicines. Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life.
For more information on how to be prepared for a power outage, visit Ready.gov. (FEMA, July 20, 2022).
There are many ways to receive alerts including television, radio, smartphone apps, websites, and word of mouth. It is important to ensure you have multiple ways of receiving alerts and that they are reliable and credible. The National Weather Service is the only source for official weather watches and warnings. One of the most reliable ways to receive alerts is NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmosperic Administration) Weather Radio. NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service office. NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts official warnings, watches, forecasts, and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (US National Weather Service, n.d.).
Downed power lines can be deadly! Always assume any downed lines are live wires! Learn more here!
Carbon monoxide poisoning is a big concern when there is a power outage. You can learn how to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning by visiting the Maine Emergency Management Agency's carbon monoxide safety page.
Be sure to check out the American Red Cross's power outage preparedness checklist.
Be sure to report your outages to Central Maine Power (CMP).
Food Safety is always important during and after a power outage!
For more information, click here!
Learn more from the CDC about food safety!
Different foods have different rules when it comes to food safety! Find out more here!
And just in case you needed one more reminder...
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