How to Stay Safe When the Power Goes Out

News Picture: How to Stay Safe When the Power Goes Out

WEDNESDAY, July 6, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Sudden power outages can be frustrating, but what if your power is knocked out for a prolonged period? Would you be ready?

The American Red Cross recommends preparing for emergency outages by putting together a kit that contains these essentials:

  • Water (each person in the household needs one gallon per day),
  • Non-perishable, easy-to-prepare foods,
  • Flashlights (avoid candles, which could start a fire),
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio,
  • Extra batteries,
  • First aid kit,
  • A week's supply of medications and required medical items,
  • Multi-purpose tool,
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items,
  • Copies of personal documents, such as a list of medications and medical information; deed/lease to home; birth certificates; passports; insurance policies,
  • Cellphone with chargers,
  • Family and emergency contact information,
  • Extra cash.

People who are being evacuated should have a three-day supply of these items, according to the Red Cross. Those staying at home should store a two-week supply.

Provide a backup power source if someone in the home is dependent on electric-powered, life-sustaining equipment.

It's also a good idea to keep the gas tank of at least one car full and to have a non-cordless telephone at home. It will probably work during a power outage.

Perishable food isn't apt to spoil if an outage lasts less than two hours, the Red Cross noted in a news release. For prolonged outages, you should have at least one cooler on hand.

Surrounding food with ice in a cooler or in the refrigerator will keep it colder for a longer time. Use a digital quick-response thermometer to check internal food temperatures and make sure food is cold enough to use safely.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

MedicalNews
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SOURCE: American Red Cross, news release, July 4, 2016

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