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Storm & Outage Information
Visit Outage Central to learn about power outages in your area.
Before Mother Nature strikes, be prepared for a major storm. Everyone should have some basic supplies on hand to survive for at least three days in the event of an extended power outage. Following are suggested items to keep on hand and easily accessible, although everyone should consider the unique needs of their own family in order to create an emergency kit that will provide for your needs.
- Water: at least one gallon per person, per day for drinking and sanitation. If you have pets, have extra available.
- Food: at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food, focusing on items that can be eaten without being cooked. Don’t forget a hand-operated can opener.
- Flashlights and a supply of fresh batteries.
- A corded telephone. Cordless phones will not work when your power is out.
- A battery-powered radio and/or television. Midwest Energy Cooperative works with regional news media to provide regular updates about major power outages.
- A battery-powered or wind-up clock.
- A first-aid kit and hand sanitizer. Be sure to fill prescriptions and have any needed medical supplies on hand.
- Extra blankets.
- Candles and matches.
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.
Storm Safety Tips:
- Stay away from downed power lines. A power line does not need to be sparking or arcing to be energized. Lines that appear to be “dead” can become energized as crews work to restore power. Assume all low and downed lines are energized and dangerous.
- Never drive over a downed line as snagging a line could pull down a pole or other equipment and cause other hazards.
- Be careful approaching intersections where traffic lights may be out.
- If you plan to use a generator, know how to operate it safely.
- Turn off all appliances, including your furnace, air conditioner, water heater and water pump so you avoid a circuit overload when power is restored. Leave on one lamp to know when power has been restored.
- Keep freezer and refrigerator doors closed. Food will stay frozen for 36 to 48 hours in a fully loaded freezer if you keep the door closed. A half-full freezer will generally keep food frozen for 24 hours. If it looks like the power outage will be prolonged, prepare a cooler with ice for your freezer items.
- Keep candles away from furniture, curtains or any other flammable material. Never leave children alone in a room with a burning candle or open flame.
- To prevent water pipes from freezing, keep faucets turned on slightly so that water drips from the tap. Know how to shut off water valves in case a pipe bursts.
- Never use gas stoves, charcoal or briquette grills or camp stoves to cook or heat within your home.
- Make sure cell phones and laptop computers are charged ahead of time. Consider using them only to update family and friends on conditions, and to check the weather or road conditions.