power outage tips
Photo by Can Pac Swire/Flickr offers useful tips to prepare for and stay safe during power outages.

The biggest power outage in U.S. history left more than 50 million people without electricity in 2003, according to Power outages can strike when we least expect it, so preparation is key. One of this year’s themes for National Preparedness Month focused on how to prepare for and handle the effects of power outages in your community.

Here are some power outage preparation and safety tips from

  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by visiting your state’s or local website so you can locate the closest cooling and warming shelters.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.For more information about food safety visit our food page.
  • Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home’s electrical system.
  • Contact your doctor if you’re concerned about medications having spoiled.
  • Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40° F (4° C) for 2 hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out!

For the full list of tips on what to do before, during and after a power outage, be sure to visit

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