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Preparing for storms
In case of a major outage, visit our website for featured regular updates.
Print the following tips and place in a location that is easy to access:
- Know the location of your emergency supply kit (check the
American Red Cross website at for a complete listing of what you should include),
the amount of food supply on hand, and the location of insurance policies.
- Check to see if shrubs or trees need trimming or if you have
any weak limbs. Be particularly careful when working near power lines. Also,
remove items near the home that could possibly become airborne (toys, trash
- Listen to local radio or TV stations for up-to-date storm
- Fill your gas tank before a storm arrives, as gas pumps do
not work if electricity is out. Automatic teller machines will also be shut
off if the power goes, so get some cash to have on hand.
- Stock dry and canned goods in one part of a pantry or cabinets.
- Don't forget to set aside a can opener and disposable plates
- Stock emergency water and drinks. Keep containers handy so
that you can fill them with tap water if severe weather approaches.
After the Storm:
- If it is dark, use flashlights, not candles. Leave on a single
light to alert you when electric service is restored.
- Turn off or disconnect any appliance that would go on automatically
when power is restored (stoves, washers, dryers and air conditioners).
- If you haven't already, disconnect sensitive electronic equipment
in advance of the surge that can occur when power comes back on.
- Minimize opening freezers and refrigerators. A fully loaded
freezer can keep food frozen for up to 48 hours if the door has not been
- Even if your neighbor's power is restored and yours is still
out, remember that it could be caused by a blown fuse or tripped circuit
- Stay clear of fallen utility lines and avoid tree limbs and
debris that could hide fallen lines. The limbs could actually carry electricity,
especially if they are wet.
- Do not pile debris near utility poles or other electric devices
when cleaning up outside.
- Be sure and report all downed lines immediately to 911.
While excellent sources of temporary power, portable generators can be dangerous
if safety guidelines are not followed. Possible dangers include carbon monoxide
poisoning from the engine exhaust and electrocution from connections to your
home's electrical system.
MCEC recommends the following when using a generator:
- Never wire your generator directly into your home's electrical
system or plug it directly into a wall outlet unless you have a double-throw
switch installed at the circuit box by a licensed electrician. Without a
double-throw switch, your generator can send electricity back onto MCEC's
system. This could be fatal to MCEC personnel working to restore your power
- or anyone else who comes in contact with power lines.
- Never use portable generators indoors or in an enclosed space.
- Protect your generator from rain or snow (porches and carports
- Read and follow the manufacturer's safety guidelines.
- Plug all appliances into the generator with appropriate-sized
cords rated for the appliance load.
- Regular testing and periodic maintenance are also important
steps you need to take to ensure your generator performs when you need it.