HOUSTON — With any storm, there's always a possibility of losing power. Remember, it could take days before power is restored to your home.
Here's a list of 15 things to do before the power goes out at your house.
- Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash and first aid supplies. Make sure to have an emergency list of contacts handy.
- Plan for batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out.
- Gather blankets ahead of time and heavy winter clothing that's easy to find. Put all the items in one place.
- Make sure you have alternative charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power. For more information visit: Get Tech Ready
- Charge cellphones and any battery-powered devices before the storm hits.
- Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it.
- Purchase ice or freeze water-filled plastic containers to help keep food cold during a temporary power outage.
- One key mistake to avoid if the power goes out in winter is to try to use the winter weather as an informal outdoor refrigerator or freezer.
- A refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if the door is kept closed. A full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if half-full).
- Keep the gas tank to your car full. Gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps. If you use your car to re-charge devices, do NOT keep the car running in a garage, partially enclosed space, or close to a home, this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Use a generator ONLY outdoors and away from windows.
- Do not use a gas stove and ovens to heat your home.
- Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges.
- If you rely on anything that is battery-operated or power-dependent, like a medical device, determine a backup plan. For more planning information tips visit: Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs
- Make sure you report a power outage! Keep this list handy so you can report an outage.