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Drew: Safely Storing Food during Summer Power Outage

By Samuetta Hill Drew

If you find yourself without power during this summer heat, check the extent of the problem first. If your neighbors also do not have electricity, you will want to see how widespread the problem is. You may wish to contact friends who live nearby to see if they have power or not.
Contact your local power company and report your outage. Be patient, it may take a while to get through to them if a lot of people are trying to call also.
There are some safety tips you should be prepared to take immediately, if you find yourself without power. Last week’s article outlined two valuable safety tips to take and below highlights some additional safety tips to help you through a summer power outage:

• Plan for safe food storage – Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours, while a full freezer can maintain its temperature for about 48 hours. Do not forget to plan for your breast milk supply, if applicable.

• Use a portable generator outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows – Install a carbon monoxide detector with a battery backup on every level of your home to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

• Disconnect small appliances and electronics – When the power does come back on, it can cause a huge power spike which may potentially damage your electronics. Disconnecting them will help avoid damage from power surges. All your sensitive electronics should be connected to a surge protector.

• Look for cooling locations near you by contacting your local officials – Alternatively, use facilities with an air conditioner, such as a public library or shopping mall during peak time of a hot day.

• Keep a flashlight in every room of your home – Make sure you have a flashlight with plenty of batteries located in each one of your rooms. This includes your basement, as well. It is a good practice to check and change your batteries annually when daylight savings time changes.

The professional resources used last week, such as the book entitled The Blackout Book and the American Safety Health Institute, along with other professional publications were used for this week’s article as well. It is essential to share professional information to help you Keep an Eye on Safety.