What to do and not to do when your power goes out
As the East Coast continues to recover from the effects of Superstorm Sandy, Comfort Keepers® would like to help you be prepared for the next storm. It may not be a hurricane where you live but blizzards, tornadoes, high winds, and thunderstorms can all cause power to go out. It is important to have a plan for you and your Senior.
To begin, have these necessities stored in your home and used only when needed: water (1 gallon per person), non-perishable food, baby food and pet food, flashlights with batteries, a full tank of gas, first aid kit, 7 day supply of medications, extra cash, phone numbers written down of family members and copies of personal documents.
Each member of your family should have a blanket and extra warm clothes in case you are forced to evacuate your home. To keep up to date on news about your outage it is a good idea to have a battery powered radio.
Next, know when the food in your refrigerator is going to go bad. Avoid opening the doors to the fridge and freezer. If the power is out for less than two hours, the food will be fine to eat. To prolong the life of refrigerated food, keep extra bags of ice in freezer and use them on food after two hours into the outage. Having extra coolers around to store food covered in ice is a good idea. Use a digital response thermometer to check the inside temperature of food to test if it is safe to eat.
Try to keep an eye on the weather
Having more time to prepare saves you stress and time when the outage occurs. Be sure to follow directions and advisories provided by your local and the national government, and make sure it is safe for you to travel outdoors before you travel to take care of your senior. Constructing an emergency plan with them to have in their house will allow for you to take your time and safely travel to check on them. It is also a good idea to exchange keys with your senior in the event the outage causes them to not be able to make it to the door to let you in. Last, have a plan to contact each other during the outage. Do not rely on the telephones to be working.Keep all lights in your home off but one to alert you when the power has been turned back on. When the power is restored, wait a few minutes before turning on large appliances and computers/chargers. Careful planning and calm execution of plans will prevent problems from happening in your home.