Power outages can be kind of fun for a few hours. It can encourage families to take a break from working on the computer or playing video games and really have some family time. When it's time to pull out the candles, focus on safety first. The next time the power goes out, keep these tips in mind to stay safe and enjoy the unexpected family time:
1. Report the outage. Use a landline or someone’s cell phone to call the power company and report the outage. Even if there are lots of power outages in the area, it’s still good to notify the power company.
2. Have an emergency stash prepared. In the event that the power outage comes in the wake of a serious weather event or other catastrophe, make sure you have the items needed to make do until the power is restored. Have the following items on hand and easily accessible at all times:
• Water and food
• Pillow and blankets
• A spare change of clothing and toiletries in a “go bag”
• A crank or batter operated radio
• Extra batteries
• Cash, credit cards, and emergency numbers
• Important documents
• Pet supplies
3. Keep medicines handy. Anyone who relies on medications (those with diabetes, heart problems, severe allergies, asthma, etc.) should always keep an emergency kit in place. Keep an epi-pen, insulin, or other necessary medicines accessible for the duration of the emergency. If possible, prepare an action plan in the event that someone who needs assistance is alone when the power goes out.
4. Turn off and unplug all electronics and appliance. To prevent power surges from coming through the line and causing damage, go ahead and turn off all light switches and unplug TVs, computers, gaming systems, microwaves, and other appliances.
5. Understand downed power lines. If you have to go outside of the home during the event, never walk through water near a downed power line. If you’re in a car, don’t get out near a downed power line. Call and wait for a utility company’s help.
6. Don’t walk into a flooded basement. Have a utility company turn off the electricity first. Submerged power outlets and other appliances could electrify the water and make it harmful to touch.
7. Try not to open the refrigerator. When the power goes out, the amount of cooling your fridge can provide is limited. On its own, your refrigerator can keep items cool for six hours. A freezer will keep food fresh for two days. If you doubt the safety of a food, throw it away.
8. Be wary of alternative cooking and heat appliances. Gas stoves and heaters can build up the carbon monoxide levels in your home quickly. There is a reason they call gas a silent killer. Only use gas, propane, or charcoal grills and heaters in well ventilated areas.
If you are injured during the course of a power outage emergency, seek medical attention immediately. For more information about pursing legal action after an accident injury as the result of a power outage, contact Ohio Injury Law today.