These tips take you step-by-step on what you can do before, during, and after a power outage to keep you and those around you as safe as possible until our crews are able to get power restored in your area.
BEFORE The Outage Occurs, Plan To Be Prepared
- Take an inventory now of the items you need that rely on electricity
- Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and 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
- Plan for batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out
- Sign up for local alerts and warning systems. Monitor weather reports
- Install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home
- Determine whether your home phone will work in a power outage and how long battery backup will last
- Review the supplies that are available in case of no power. Have flashlights with extra batteries for every household member. Have enough nonperishable food and water
- Use a thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer so that you can know the temperature when the power is restored
- Stay prepared by keeping mobile phones and other electric equipment charged and gas tanks full
DURING The Outage, Learn How To Be The Most Efficient
- Keep freezers and refrigerators closed. The refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. Use coolers with ice if necessary. Monitor temperatures with a thermometer
- Avoid losing food by using food supplies that do not require refrigeration
- Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Generators, camp stoves, or charcoal grills should always be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows. Never use a gas stove top or oven to heat your home
- Check on your neighbors. Older adults and young children are especially vulnerable to extreme temperatures
- Go to a community location with power if heat or cold is extreme
- Turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment, or electronics. Power may return with momentary “surges” or “spikes” that can cause damage
AFTER The Outage Is Over, Take Necessary Precautions
When in doubt, throw it out! Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40 degrees or higher for two hours or more, or that has an unusual odor, color, or texture.
If the power is out for more than a day, discard any medication that should be refrigerated, unless the drug’s label says otherwise. If a life depends on the refrigerated drugs, consult a doctor or pharmacist and use medicine only until a new supply is available.
What Should I Do About Downed Lines?
Safety is always our first concern, both for our members and our employees.Whenever you see a downed power line, call MEC with the location and remember to STAY AWAY from downed lines. If cutting trees after a storm, avoid trees that may be touching or are near power lines. It is always best to treat all lines as if they are energized and Contact Us for assistance when removing any trees near power lines. We want to keep our members and linemen as safe as possible!