Storm Preparation

Storm Safety

Always Report Your Outage

Visit our Outage page to discover all the different options for reporting an outage. You can also learn more about outages and gather other resources as well.

Make Safety a Priority

Lightning thunderstorm flash over the night sky. Concept on topic weather, cataclysms (hurricane, Typhoon, tornado, storm)If you plan to use a generator, know how to operate it safely.

Unplug all appliances and electronics so they won’t get damaged with power restoration.

If power lines are on the ground, stay far away from them and warn others to stay away. Contact MEC if you see a downed line, as it could still be live and hazardous to you and those around you.

Any power line that is dead could become energized at any moment due to power restoration or backup generators.

Check on friends and relatives—especially children, seniors, and those with medical conditions or disabilities. These people may need to seek emergency cooling shelters.

Keep a first-aid kit in your home and one in your car. Make sure that it includes scissors, tweezers, safety pins, aspirin, eyewash, rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, and anything else you deem a necessity for your family.

Keeping Cool

If it’s a hot time of year, dress in loose, lightweight clothing and stay on the coolest, lowest level of your home.

Use natural ventilation to cool homes, and consider purchasing battery-powered fans.

Drink plenty of water and avoid heavy meals, caffeinated drinks and alcohol.

Close all drapes and blinds on the sunny side of your residence.

Take your family and pets to a basement or other cool location if you have one. Also consider going to an air-conditioned public place during warmer daytime hours.

Maintaining Food

Keep refrigerator or freezer doors closed. A freezer that is half full or full can keep foods frozen 24 to 48 hours. Foods can stay safe in an unopened refrigerator up to four hours. If an outage lasts longer than four hours, remove and pack meat, milk and other dairy products in a cooler with ice.

Use safe alternative food preparations. A barbecue grill is an excellent way to prepare food. Always grill outside.

Hurricanes & Other Large Storms

Decide Where You Want to be During a Hurricane

This may be the toughest decision, so make it early. You can get out of town, but unless you go early, it may pose so many problems that home or a local shelter may be a better alternative. Study all the choices and decide — now — which is best for your family. Be specific in your planning and be sure to include pets in those plans.

Tell Others About Your Plan

Tell at least two family members who live outside your area what you’re going to do in case of a hurricane. If you’re staying put, let them know and try to communicate with them afterward. If you’re leaving town, tell them where you’re going. If you change plans, let them know.

Involve All Members of the Family

Involve everyone in the family, especially children, in your preparations. Each family member should have responsibilities so work is shared and nothing is overlooked. You’re all in this together.

Make Preparations for Children

Decide now who picks them up from school during a storm threat if both parents work. Start helping them now to deal with any fears: explain what a hurricane is, what it can do, and what preparations you are making.

Prepare for Those With Special Needs

Make arrangements right away for family members who are elderly or who have special needs. Remember, if someone depends on electrical life support, there probably won’t be power after a storm. Contact your local Emergency Management Office for details.

Keep Some Emergency Cash

A hurricane will disrupt banking schedules. ATMs and credit cards, in a world without electricity, will not work or will run out of cash. Don’t charge your credit cards to the limit; you may need them to get more cash after the storm.

Buy Supplies Early

Planning is key to avoiding price gougers who appear after calamity strikes. Buy as many supplies as you can, especially big-ticket items like generators, before a hurricane threatens and demand skyrockets.

If Damage is Extensive, Power Will Be Out for Longer than Usual

If another major hurricane strikes our area, it’s likely MEC’s distribution and transmission system will be effected. It could take up to a week or more to restore service. Some outages will be longer. Your plans should include preparing for a prolonged power outage. If a medical condition or other situation makes a prolonged outage a serious hardship, then you should have an alternate source of power available, like a portable generator. Relocation is another option.