Be Prepared For Bad Weather
Assemble a storm emergency kit
The best way to weather a storm is to have a safety plan in place ahead of time.
Keep an emergency safety kit handy, and make sure everyone in the family knows where it's located:
A battery-operated flashlight, clock and radio.
One or two packages of batteries.
A first aid kit and manual.
A small fire extinguisher.
If you have room, add a few pillows and blankets.
If you have young children, keep a stash of "rainy-day" books and games in your emergency kit to keep them calm and occupied during a storm or power outage.
If you use a cordless phone at home, keep in mind that it won't work during an outage - the base unit needs electricity to pick up the signals from the handset.
Always keep a cellular or corded phone in your home. Don't forget to post emergency numbers near the phone, and keep a copy in your emergency kit as well.
Garage door openers
Many homeowners don't carry a house key, instead depending on their garage door opener for access to their home. But a garage door opener also won't work during an outage.
Make sure you know how to operate your garage door manually in case your car is inside when the power goes out, and keep a spare house key handy.
Surge protectors are a great investment to protect your electronics and appliances. A lightning strike or downed power line can send a damaging surge of electricity through your home.
A wood-burning fireplace is a great way to keep warm during a winter power outage, but it's important to keep it in good working order.
Clean out the firebox often, make sure the damper operates correctly, and have the chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional on a regular basis.
If anyone in your family depends on electrical medical equipment, call our 24-hour Customer Service Center - we'll note it on your account.
It's also a good idea to know how to shut off the power to your house using the main fuse or breaker at the service panel, and how to shut off water and gas supply lines.
If a severe storm hits, your local disaster officials may instruct you to shut off the utilities to avoid further damage or injuries.
Food and water
If you know a big storm is approaching, gather up other necessities like medications and baby supplies, as well as food items that don't require cooking or refrigeration (granola bars or crackers and peanut butter, for example).
Don't forget the drinking water - the American Red Cross recommends reserving about three gallons per person.
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