Are you prepared for a power outage? In case of severe weather, Marshfield Utilities has provided important tips of what to do before, during, and after a power outage so residents can be prepared.
Before a damaging storm happens, Marshfield Utilities advises residents to subscribe to a text alert service to stay informed of local weather conditions. Text your zip code to 888777 to subscribe.
Have a three-day supply of water ready, about three gallons per person for each day. Instead of candles, have flashlights and batteries on hand in a few different areas of the home.
To keep food safe, avoid opening refrigerator and freezer doors repeatedly. The USDA reports that a full freezer can stay cold enough to keep food safe for 48 hours during an outage, or 24 hours for a half-full freezer.
Keep ice, coolers, and a food/meat thermometer on hand to store refrigerator contents. A food temperature of 40 degrees or lower is usually safe, but if in doubt, toss it out. Get advice from a medical provider to develop a plan for medical devices charged by electricity and how long medications can be stored at higher temperatures.
Keep your cell phone charged with a car charger or a solar powered recharger, but if running the car, move outside of the garage to avoid carbon monoxide. Know where the manual release lever for the garage door is located and keep at least half a tank of gas in the vehicle to avoid running out.
In case your phone runs out of battery, have a written list of important numbers for emergency lines, family members, and work.
Consider purchasing a generator. Since it releases carbon monoxide, use it outside the home and garage. Use heavy-duty extension cords and connect the equipment you’d like to use directly to the outlet on the generator, but never connect it directly to your home’s electrical system. Also consider installing a DC-powered backup sump pump with the help of a licensed contractor.
During a power outage, let the power company know about downed power lines, checking breakers first, and any neighbors who are without power. Avoid downed power lines and stay in your car if one falls on it.
If the outage is more than a few hours, preserve dairy product, meat, seafood, eggs, and leftovers into coolers with ice. Monitor the temperature inside the cooler with a thermometer.
While power crews are working, stay clear and avoid getting too close or the workers will have to pause, slowing down the restoration of power.
Houses that sustain damage to the electric service equipment may need to hire an electrician before power can be connected to your home.
Unplug or switch off appliances and lights that aren’t necessary to prevent overload or surges when power is restored. Prevent damage to sensitive TVs and computers by unplugging them when the power goes out.
If you don’t have backup power for the pump, keep a pail near the sump pump for any flooding that could occur due to the outage.
Once power is restored, you can start plugging in essential appliances gradually to allow the system to stabilize. Discard any food items that are unsafe to eat.