With all the storms we have been having, it is wise to be prepared for power outages. I am surprised by how many people I know who don’t even have working flashlights around. In my neighborhood, we lose power often and for extended periods. There are some simple and inexpensive things you can do to help to take the pain out of the powerlessness.
- Call PECO to report the outage in your area. This service will also inform you of the expected time for power restoration.
- The number for PECO is 1-800-841-4141.
- Unplug TVs, video games systems and computers so they do not experience another power surge when the power returns.
- Do not open your refrigerator or freezer. The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about four hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed. Check food promptly when power returns. When in doubt, throw it out.
- If the A/C was on when power failed, keeping windows and doors shut will keep your home cool for a few hours. As temps rise indoors, do open windows and doors for ventilation.
- Check on the ill, elderly, children and pets often. Make sure they are hydrated.
- Know signs of heat stroke - high body temperature, rapid pulse, difficulty breathing, confusion, nausea and vomiting. Seek emergency care promptly.
- Stock your pantry with non-perishable foods. Be sure to keep a hand-held can opener, too.
- If you have well water, you depend on a pump to supply your water to the home. Be sure to have plenty of bottled water on hand for bathing and drinking.
- Keep a close eye on sump pumps. If your basement is prone to flooding, have a backup battery installed on your sump pump or invest in a generator. Maybe a nice neighbor will let you tap into their generator. Have outdoor-rated extension cords on hand, just in case you are offered the chance.
To read more from Beth Allen, founder of HIP Chicks, The DIY Resource for Women, visit www.diyhipchicks.com