1 Be Red Cross Ready Power Outage Checklist Sudden power outages can be frustrating and troublesome, especially Energy Conservation Recommendations when they last a long time. If a power Turn off lights and computers when not in use. outage is 2 hours or less, you need not Wash clothes in cold water if possible; wash only full loads and clean the dryer's lint be concerned about losing your trap after each use. perishable foods. For prolonged power When using a dishwasher, wash full loads and use the light cycle. If possible, outages, though, there are steps you can use the rinse only cycle and turn off the high temperature rinse option. When the regular wash cycle is done, just open the dishwasher door to allow the dishes take to minimize food loss and to keep to air dry. all members of your household as Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent lights.
2 Comfortable as possible. How do I prepare for a What should I do during a What should I do when the power power outage? power outage? comes back on? To help preserve your food, keep the Keep food as safe as possible. Do not touch any electrical power lines and following supplies in your home: keep your family away from them. Report Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed downed power lines to the appropriate One or more coolers Inexpensive as much as possible. First use perishable officials in your area. Styrofoam coolers work well. food from the refrigerator. An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cold for Throw out unsafe food. Ice Surrounding your food with ice in a about 4 hours. cooler or in the refrigerator will keep food Throw away any food that has been exposed colder for a longer period of time during a Then use food from the freezer.
3 A full to temperatures 40 F (4 C) for 2 hours or prolonged power outage. freezer will keep the temperature for about more or that has an unusual odor, color or 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the texture. When in doubt, throw it out! A digital quick-response thermometer door remains closed. With these thermometers you can quickly Never taste food or rely on appearance or check the internal temperatures of food to Use your non-perishable foods and odor to determine its safety. Some foods may ensure they are cold enough to use safely. staples after using food from the look and smell fine, but if they have been at refrigerator and freezer. room temperature too long, bacteria causing Put together an emergency food-borne illnesses can start growing preparedness kit with these supplies If it looks like the power outage will quickly. Some types of bacteria produce in case of a prolonged or widespread continue beyond a day, prepare a cooler toxins that cannot be destroyed by cooking.
4 Power outage: with ice for your freezer items. If food in the freezer is colder than 40 F and Water one gallon per person, per day (3- Keep food in a dry, cool spot and keep it has ice crystals on it, you can refreeze it. day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for covered at all times. home) Food non-perishable, easy-to- If you are not sure food is cold enough, take Electrical equipment prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, its temperature with the food thermometer. 2-week supply for home) Flashlight Turn off and unplug all unnecessary Throw out any foods (meat, poultry, fish, (NOTE: Do not use candles during a power electrical equipment, including sensitive eggs and leftovers) that have been exposed to outage due to the extreme risk of fire.) electronics. temperatures higher than 40 F (4 C) for 2. Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA hours or more, and any food that has an Turn off or disconnect any appliances unusual odor, color or texture, or feels warm Weather Radio, if possible) Extra batteries (like stoves), equipment or electronics you to touch.
5 First aid kit Medications (7-day supply). were using when the power went out. and medical items Multi-purpose tool . Sanitation and personal hygiene items . When power comes back on, surges or Caution: Carbon Monoxide Kills spikes can damage equipment. Copies of personal documents (medication Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or list and pertinent medical information, Leave one light turned on so you'll know other gasoline, propane, natural gas or deed/lease to home, birth certificates, when the power comes back on. charcoal-burning devices inside a home, insurance policies) Cell phone with garage, basement, crawlspace or any chargers Family and emergency contact Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic lights will be out and roads partially enclosed area. Locate unit away information Extra cash from doors, windows and vents that could will be congested.
6 If someone in your home is dependent on allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. electric-powered, life-sustaining Using generators safely The primary hazards to avoid when using equipment, remember to include backup When using a portable generator, connect alternate sources for electricity, heating or power in your evacuation plan. the equipment you want to power directly cooking are carbon monoxide poisoning, Keep a non-cordless telephone in your to the outlets on the generator. Do not electric shock and fire. home. It is likely to work even when the connect a portable generator to a home's electrical system. Install carbon monoxide alarms in power is out. central locations on every level of your home Keep your car's gas tank full. If you are considering getting a generator, and outside sleeping areas to provide early get advice from a professional, such as an warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.
7 Electrician. Make sure that the generator you purchase is rated for the power that If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, you think you will need. move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Let Your Family Know You're Safe Call for help from the fresh air location and If your community experiences a disaster, register on the American Red Cross Safe and Well remain there until emergency personnel Web site available through to let your family and friends know about your arrive to assist you. welfare. If you don't have Internet access, call 1-866-GET-INFO to register yourself and your family. For more information on disaster and emergency preparedness, visit Copyright 2009 by the American National Red Cross Stock No. 658564.