Ready.gov has focused the month of September on preparing people and encouraging them to have a plan.  Each week has focused on a new hazard worth preparing in advance for. The topic for the last week of September is power outages.   

Whether local, regional, or widespread, there are common things you can do to prepare.

Generators

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If you have an installed generator, have it serviced. If you are interested in installing one, give us a call. For our members, we can handle gathering estimates and make sure you get the size and type that makes the most sense for you.   

If you have a portable, gas-powered generator, remember to always move it outside and safely away from the house before starting it. Never run it in a garage.  

Preparedness kit

A large part of preparing for most natural disasters and large storms is preparing in case of a power outage. So the same advice applies. Have water, non-perishable food and medications on hand for all members of the household (including the furry ones) for at least 3 days. Have batteries, lanterns and flashlights. A hand-crank radio is always good to have.  

If you have been through a longer-term power outage, then you know before it is done, you will need a lot of large, strong trash bags and cleaning supplies for the fridge.   

An extra tank of propane for the grill is always useful if you have electric appliances in the kitchen.  

Communication Plan

When technology is jammed, where will your family meet? Have a plan. Know where to convene in case of a small problem. Choose a relative or friend out of the area to be a centralized point of contact, because often when the signals get jammed, it can be easier to get a call though to another state than down the block. Choose a place to post, such as facebook, where everyone can check in when they are able.  

Never touch downed wires. Never step into water that is touching downed wires.  

Find the phone number for reporting an emergency for your power company and keep it in your phone.