BE PREPARED … very prepared … surely applies to every one of us when it comes to the weather. Here are some emergency preparedness tips to keep in mind:
- Keep a battery-powered radio, flashlights and plenty of fresh batteries on hand where you can find them in the dark.
- Avoid relying on candles or oil hurricane lamps. If they are mishandled or unattended they represent a severe fire hazard at a time when all public safety and emergency resources are already stretched pretty thin.
- Keep a radio or light plugged in and turned on so you can tell when power is restored.
- Turn off or disconnect appliances such as air conditioners, refrigerators, freezers, computers, heat pumps, televisions, washers and dryers. When electricity service is restored, and if all of these appliances begin operating at the same time, your home’ fuses could blow or the circuit breakers could trip off from the sudden energy demand.
- Keep several gallons of bottled water in your home for each family member. Your water supply could stop if your home uses a well and pump. Additionally, power outages could affect municipal water treatment and pumping facilities.
- A fully loaded freezer will remain cold for 36 to 48 hours if the door remains closed. Covering the freezer or refrigerator with a heavy blanket or quilt will help to maintain the interior temperature. However, an even better way to maintain your foot supply is to invest in a power generator for use in emergencies to provide back-up power for heating, lights and/or refrigeration. Remember, when in doubt, always discard suspect food rather than risk getting sick by eating it.