It’s your worst-case scenario. A major storm was predicted, and this time, the predictions were right. Many power lines are down, and your electricity may be out for several days. You are low on everything — food, pet supplies, toilet paper, batteries, diapers, and medication.
Imagine how you would feel in this situation. While you can’t predict which weather forecast will come true, you can plan ahead so that you have the tools and resources to effectively weather the storm when a severe weather event strikes. The Department of Homeland Security offers several resources to help you prepare for significant weather events and natural disasters. Visit ready.gov/make-a-plan.
PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS AND ITEMS
- Stock your pantry with a three-day supply of non-perishable food, such as canned goods, energy bars, peanut butter, powdered milk, instant coffee, water, and other essentials.
- Confirm that you have adequate sanitation and hygiene supplies, including towelettes, soap, and hand sanitizer.
- Ensure your first aid kit is stocked with pain relievers, bandages, and other medical essentials, and make sure your prescriptions are current.
- Set aside essential household items you will need, including flashlights, batteries, a manual can opener, alternate phone chargers, and a portable, battery-powered radio or TV.
- Organize emergency supplies so they are together in an accessible location.
WITH ADVANCE WARNING
If a severe storm, such as a snow or ice storm, is expected, you may need to take extra steps to prepare. If possible, have a backup source of heat. Fully charge all cell phones, laptops, and other devices to maximize power during an outage. If you plan to use a small generator, make sure it’s rated to handle the amount of energy you will need, and review the manufacturer’s instructions to operate it safely.
DURING A PROLONGED OUTAGE
Turn off appliances, TVs, computers, and other sensitive electronics during an outage. This will help avert damage from a power surge and will also help prevent overloading the circuits during power restoration. That said, do leave one light on so you will know when power is restored.
Consider using LED holiday lights to illuminate a living area if utilizing a small household generator. A strand of 100 white lights draws little energy yet produces considerable light. Solar lights also work if they can receive some sunlight during the day for charging. After the storm, avoid downed power lines. Allow ample room for utility crews to safely perform their jobs — including on your property.
POWER IN PLANNING
Advance planning for severe storms or other emergencies can reduce stress and anxiety caused by the weather event and lessen the impact of the storm’s effects. Sign up for NOAA emergency alerts and warnings on your phone. Check the Miami-Cass REMC Facebook page and website to stay abreast of restoration efforts and other important co-op news and information. Act today because there is power in planning.