PREPARING FOR AND DEALING WITH A POWER OUTAGE

Over 225,000 homes in Georgia lost power during the recent blast of winter weather, and many homes are still without power.  Here’s what you should do before and after the power goes out in your home this winter:

Be prepared…

1.  Have emergency essentials: non-perishable food, water, several flashlights with batteries, candles, battery-powered radio, first-aid kit, and a car charger for your cell phone.
2.  Trim any tree branches that hang over power lines.
3.  Keep your home heated above 65 degrees to prevent freezing or busting pipes.  Open faucets enough to let them drip slowly and disconnect hoses from outside spigots.
4.  Ensure that your homeowner’s policy covers damage resulting from a freeze.

 

If you do lose power…

1.  Call your power company to report the outage, but only call 9-1-1 unless there is an emergency.
2.  Listen to your battery-powered radio, especially for news at the top of each hour, to find out when the power might be restored.
3.  Only open your refrigerator and freezer when necessary – food should stay cold for hours if the door is left closed.
4.  Dress to stay warm – wear layers, including a sweater, sweatshirt or even a jacket.
5.  Unplug major appliances – when the power comes back on, all of your appliances starting at one time can create a drain or power surge, which can damage your appliances and maybe even start a fire.
6.  Check on your elderly neighbors or those who may have medical conditions or use medical machinery that operates on electricity.  Make sure they are dressed appropriately warm.  If someone needs to have machinery that operates on electricity, try to move her to a place where electricity is working.