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Prepare Yourself for a Power Outage

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This summer it’s possible your household will lose power. Above average temperatures are causing extreme heat and drought, which has elevated the risk of power outages throughout the country.

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.

Here are four ways to prepare yourself for a 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.

If you are without power during extreme temperatures, consider going to a community location to keep safe.

For more information on how to be prepared for a power outage, visit Ready.gov.

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