Get Ready Before Power Outages Strike

As Mother Nature continues to throw everything she has at us, and New Jersey hunkers down for Wednesday night’s Nor’easter, the Red Cross is reminding everyone to do what they can to prepare for the potential of more power outages. A few simple preparations tomorrow can go a long way toward keeping you as comfortable as possible.

If your power goes out, first check whether your neighbors have power. If they do, check your circuit breaker panel or fuse box. If that’s not the problem, check the service wires leading to the house. If they look damaged or are on the ground, stay at least 30 ft back and notify your power company.

Turn of all your appliances and electronic equipment, and turn your heating thermostats down to a minimum to prevent damage from a power surge. Turn off all your lights, except one inside and one outside, so that both you and work crews outside your home know when your power has been restored.

To preserve your food, keep a cooler or two in your home. Even inexpensive Styrofoam coolers will work fine. Surrounding your food with ice in the cooler or in the fridge will keep food cold longer. Don’t open your freezer or fridge unless it’s absolutely necessary, to preserve your food for longer.

Never use charcoal or gas barbecues, camping heating equipment or home generators indoors.

Check on vulnerable family members, friends and neighbors (the elderly, ill or disabled) who may need special help.

If you have to evacuate your home, protect it by taking these precautions:

–      Turn off the main breaker or switch off the power-supply box
–      Turn off the water main where it enters your house
–      Drain the water from your plumbing system if there is a risk of freezing

As New Jersey prepares for this next storm, so too is the Red Cross. We are ramping up shelters and feeding sites, planning for the worst while hoping for the best.

Stay safe over the coming days and get tips on emergency preparedness by connecting to the Red Cross through Twitter @RedCrossNorthNJ or on Facebook at American Red Cross North New Jersey.

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