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Preparing for a Power Outage

Most power outages will be over almost as soon as they begin, but some can last much longer – up to days or even weeks. 

  • Emergency Kit!

  • Make sure you have an emergency kit that's going to last you 72 hours. That's a kit with flashlights, batteries, a battery-operated radio or clock, back-up cellphone, candles, waterproof matches, blankets, first aid kit, non-perishable food, any medication you may need, some extra cash, and spare keys. Really anything you'll need to live should there be a really long storm.

  • Unplug Everything

  • Eventually, the power will come back on and when it does, it could create a power surge and destroy anything you have plugged in.  Protect your appliances and devices by unplugging them until power has been restored.  But leave one light on so that you know when the power has come back on.

  • Get some Gas

  • The most prepared among us never let the tank in the car drop below half full.  If that’s not you, stop at the gas station to fill up before the storm hits.  If the outage is large, the gas stations near you won’t be able to pump gas, and any gas station that does have power is going to have long lines.  Stock up ahead of time.

  • Buy some Batteries

  • Check flashlights and battery-powered portable radios to ensure that they are working, and you have extra batteries. A radio is an important source of weather and emergency information during a storm.

  • Think about Heat

  • Have sufficient heating fuel, as regular sources may be cut off. Have emergency heating equipment and fuel (a gas fireplace, wood burning stove or fireplace) so you can keep at least one room livable. Be sure the room is well ventilated.

  • Think about Water

  • Let faucets drip a little to avoid freezing.

  • Know how to shut off water valves.

  • If your water supply could be affected (a well-water pump system), fill your bathtub and spare containers with water. Water in the bathtub should be used for sanitation purposes only, not as drinking water.

  • Think about Food Supply

  • Set your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings (remember to reset them back to normal once power is restored). During an outage, do not open the refrigerator or freezer door. Food can stay cold in a full refrigerator for up to 24 hours, and in a well-packed freezer for 48 hours (24 hours if it is half-packed).

  • Get out of the Garage

  • Review the process for manually operating an electric garage door manually.

  • ​Prepare the Sump Pump 

  • Utilizing a battery backup keeps you protected in a power outage or install a water powered sump pump.

  • Find your exit drain and be sure no debris is blocking or preventing water flowing out.

  • Set up a sump pump alarm or water sensor.

  • ​Position Generators Properly

  • ​Portable generators should only be used outdoors and carefully located to ensure that exhaust fumes do not enter the home. 

  • Allow the generator to cool before refuelling

  • Stay in the Know

  • ​Listen to local radio stations

  • Check municipal & fire dept websites if you are able to

  • Follow MFD on social media if you are able to

  • Check on your neighbours

#emergencypreparedness #winter #storms

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