The latest wave of freezing rain, ice and snow could cause power outages in the area over the next several days.
The nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) offers the following tips for residents to stay safe and comfortable while the power is out now and during the next freeze:
- Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Avoid opening the refrigerator or freezer.
- Unplug or disconnect any electrical devices that were in use when the power went out. Turn off all lights but one, to alert you when power resumes.
- Check on elderly neighbors, friends or relatives who may need assistance during the outage.
- Do not use candles as they pose a fire hazard. Always keep a supply of flashlights, batteries and a battery-powered radio on hand.
- Resist the temptation to call 9-1-1 for information–that’s what your battery-powered radio is for.
- Wear many layers and use blankets to keep warm while the power is out.
- If you have a generator, remember do not run it inside a home or garage. Use gas-powered generators only in well-ventilated areas.
- Connect only individual appliances to portable generators.
- Don’t plug emergency generators into electric outlets or hook them directly to your home’s electrical system – as they can feed electricity back into the power lines, putting you and line workers in danger.
When Power Returns
- When power comes back on, it may come back with momentary “surges” or “spikes” that can damage equipment such as computers and motors in appliances like the air conditioner, refrigerator, washer or furnace.
- When power is restored, wait a few minutes before turning on major appliances to help eliminate further problems caused by a sharp increase in demand.
Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)®, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is the country's leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters. FLASH collaborates with more than 100 innovative and diverse partners that share its vision of making America a more disaster‐resistant nation including: BASF, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Florida Division of Emergency Management, The Home Depot®, International Code Council, Kohler® Generators, National Weather Service, Portland Cement Association, RenaissanceRe, Simpson Strong-Tie®, State Farm™, USAA® and WeatherPredict Consulting Inc. In 2008, FLASH opened the interactive weather experience StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes® in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Learn more about FLASH and gain access to its free consumer resources by visiting www.flash.org or calling (877) 221- SAFE (7233). Also, get timely safety tips to ensure that you and your family are protected from natural and manmade disasters by subscribing to the FLASH blog – Protect Your Home in a FLASH.