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Prepare for the Unexpected

Tips to Stay Safe During an Unexpected Power Outage

When high winds, heavy rainfall and flooding meet our outdated electrical power infrastructure, the result is often widespread power outages. Backup power is one way to be ready for storms, but there are many other steps you can take to protect yourself and your family if you get caught off guard.
What to do during a power outage according to

  • Keep freezers and refrigerators closed. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. Use coolers for ice if necessary. Always monitor the temperatures.
  • Maintain food supplies that do not require refrigeration.
  • Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Generators, camp stoves, or charcoal grills should be used outdoors, at least 20 feet away from windows. Never use a gas stovetop or oven to heat your home.
  • Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices.
  • Check on your neighbors. Older adults and young children are especially vulnerable to extreme temperatures.
  • Turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment, or electronics. Power may return with momentary “surges” or “spikes” that can cause damage.

If your home is not safe to stay in, evacuate and go to a community shelter location. For more information on how to stay safe during a storm's power outage, click here.

Download the Hurricane Preparedness Guide

For more information on how to prepare for a hurricane, read our Hurricane Preparedness Guide and take notes!