Source: www.ready.gov

• Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40° F (4° C) for 2 hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out!

• If food in the freezer is colder than 40° F and has ice crystals on it, you can refreeze it.

• Contact your doctor if you’re concerned about medications having spoiled.

• Restock your emergency kit with fresh batteries, canned foods and other supplies.

• Only use flashlights for emergency lighting, candles can cause fires.

• Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.

• Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Never use your oven as a source of heat. If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location (the home of a relative or friend, or a public facility) that has heat to keep warm.

• Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power “surge” that can damage computers and other devices. Consider adding surge protectors.

• If you are considering purchasing a generator for your home, consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing.

• Only use generators away from your home and never run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home’s electrical system.

• Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.

• Make sure you have alternative charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power.

• Charge cell phones and any battery powered devices.

• Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it.

• Purchase ice or freeze water-filled plastic containers to help keep food cold during a temporary power outage.

• Keep your car’s gas tank full-gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps. If you use your car to re-charge devices, do not keep the car running in a garage, partially enclosed space, or close to a home, this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

• Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by visiting your state’s or local website so you can locate the closest warming shelters.

• If you rely on anything that is battery-operated or power dependent like a medical device determine a back-up plan.

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