Be Prepared for an Outage!
How to be prepared for an extended power outage?
Put together an emergency preparedness kit with these supplies in case of a prolonged or widespread power outage:
- Keep your fridge and freezer doors shut unless you need to get something out
- Keep one or more coolers on hand, inexpensive styrofoam coolers work well
- Ice surrounding your food with ice in a cooler or in the refrigerator will keep food colder for a longer period of time during a prolonged power outage
- A digital quick response thermometer, with these thermometers you can quickly check the internal temperatures of food to ensure they are cold enough to use safely
- Water one gallon per person, per day, 3 day supply
- Food non perishable, easy to prepare items, 3 day supply
- Flashlight NOTE: Do not use candles during a power outage due to the extreme risk of fire
- Battery powered or hand crank radio, Weather Radio, if possible
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications (7day supply) and medical items
- Multi purpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents, medication list and medical information
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
Remember to include backup power in your evacuation plan if someone in your home is dependent on electric powered life sustaining equipment. Keep a non cordless telephone in your home if possible. It is likely to work even when the power is out. Keep all of your vehicle fuel tanks full.
Know what to do during an outage!
Keep food as safe as possible.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. First use perishable food from the refrigerator. An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cold for about 4 hours
- Then use food from the freezer. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed
- Use your non perishable foods and staples after using food from the refrigerator and freezer
- If it looks like the power outage will continue beyond a day, prepare a cooler with ice for your freezer items
- Keep food in a dry, cool spot and keep it covered at all times
Using a Generator:
- Never touch or go near a downed power line! Report any downed lines immediately to our Dispatch Center at 435-654-2913
- Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment, including sensitive electronics
- Turn off or disconnect any appliances (like stoves), equipment or electronics you were using when the power went out. When power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment
- Leave one light turned on so you will know when the power comes back on
- Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic lights will be out and roads will be congested
Caution: Carbon Monoxide Kills:
- When using a portable generator, connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. Do not connect a portable generator to a residential electrical system
- If you are considering getting a generator, get advice from a professional, such as an electrician. Make sure that the generator you purchase is rated for the power that you think you will need
- Make sure the generator installation meets all local, state and national codes
- Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors
- The primary hazards to avoid when using alternate sources for electricity, heating or cooking are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire
- Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide
- If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door
- Call for help from the fresh air location and remain there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you
What to do when power comes back on!
Throw out unsafe food.
- Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40 degrees F (4 degrees C) for 2 hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out!
- Never taste food or rely on appearance or odor to determine its safety. Some foods may look and smell fine, but if they have been at room temperature too long, bacteria causing food borne illnesses can start growing quickly. Some types of bacteria produce toxins that cannot be destroyed by cooking
- If food in the freezer is colder than 40 degrees F and has ice crystals on it, you can refreeze it
- If you are not sure food is cold enough, take its temperature with the food thermometer. Throw out any foods (meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers) that have been exposed to temperatures higher than 40 degrees F (4 degrees C) for two hours or more, and any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture, or feels warm to touch