How to prepare for power outages in the event of extreme weather

ABC50 NOW

NEW YORK (WWTI) — Regions across New York State are predicted to receive extreme weather this week as the winter solstice is three weeks away.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Sunday night that regions in New York are predicted to receive thunderstorms, high winds and lake effect snow starting on November 30. Following these announcements, the State advised New Yorkers on how to be prepared for incidents such as power outages and how to remain safe during one.

Governor Cuomo’s office published the following tips regarding potential power outages.

  • Keep a list of emergency numbers readily available.
  • Keep a battery-operated radio, flashlight and batteries on hand
  • Keep an emergency supply of water, medications, and non-perishable foods
  • Have alternative charging methods for devices that requires power
  • Consider filling plastic containers with water in refrigerators to keep perishables cold
  • Garage door opener is powered electronically, locate the manual release level and learn how to operate it.
  • Keep your car’s gas tank at least half-full
  • Plan an alternative cooking source, such as a camp stove or outdoor grill. Follow appropriate safety rules for its use outside the residence.
  • Consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing a generator
  • Have extra blankets, coats, hats, and gloves on hand
  • Back up computer files and operating systems regularly. Turn off all computers, monitors, and other devices when they are not being used.
  • Learn about emergency plans in your area, including the location of the closest cooling and warming shelters, by visiting your state’s or local website

Additionally, the state provided the following tips for New Yorkers when experiencing a power outage.

  • Turn off or disconnect major appliances and other equipment, e.g., computers, in case of a momentary power surge
  • Keep one light turned on so you know when power returns
  • Call utility providers to notify them of the outage and listen to local broadcasts for official information.
  • Only use flashlights for emergency lighting
  • Keep refrigerators and freezer doors closed
  • Do not use a charcoal grill indoors and do not use a gas stove for heat; both can emit harmful levels of carbon monoxide
  • In cold weather, stay warm by dressing in layers and minimizing time spent outdoors
  • Be aware of cold stress symptoms (i.e., hypothermia) and seek proper medical attention if symptoms appear.
  • In intense heat, consider going to a movie theater, shopping mall or cooling shelter. If remaining home, move to the lowest level. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing and drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty
  • If in a tall building, take the stairs and move to the lowest level of the building. If trapped in an elevator, wait for assistance
  • Provide fresh, cool water for your pets.
  • Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car
  • Equipment such as automated teller machines (ATMs) and elevators may not be working.
  • If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location, such as the home of a relative or friend, or a public facility that has heat

Full safety tips and recommendations can be found on the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services website.

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