3 min read

How To Stay Safe During Large-Scale Power Outages

Published on
January 11, 2023

Power outages can be frustrating, but they can also come with serious safety concerns. It’s important to be prepared and know what to do during a power outage to guarantee your safety and the safety of those around you.

Stay inside during a power outage unless necessary. If you have to go out, be sure to watch weather reports and provider notifications on your phone.

Additionally, use caution when using appliances or electronics. Disconnecting them can help prevent electrical surges. Never use a gas stove or outdoor generator to heat your home. If you need to move to a place with heat or air conditioning, make sure to do so safely.

It’s also important to keep your food from spoiling during a power outage. Keep your freezer and fridge closed to maintain the temperature for as long as possible. Without power, your fridge will keep food cold for about four hours, while your freezer can keep things frozen for about 48 hours. If you need to light your home during the outage, use a battery-powered flashlight, not a candle, to avoid the risk of fire.

Staying Safe on the Roads

Driving during a power outage can be dangerous, so it’s important to exercise caution and pay attention to your surroundings. Always make sure you have a full tank of gas, as gas stations may be unable to pump gas during an outage. If traffic lights aren’t operating, treat the intersection like a four-way stop sign. Pay attention to other drivers and avoid highways or busy streets if possible.

Also, it’s important to keep an increased distance between cars, at least eight seconds between you and the car in front of you. If you can, park in a garage or on high ground. And don't park under trees or power lines. These precautions can help keep you safe while driving during a power outage.

Resources To Remember

If there is a power outage, it’s important to know who to call for assistance. The LOOP Care Team can provide information on your car’s insurance protection, while the Motorists Helpline can help you if your vehicle is disabled or you’re stranded on the side of the road.

For local road updates, call 3-1-1, and for local emergency information, contact the State Emergency Assistance Registry at 2-1-1. In the case of an emergency, call 9-1-1. Finally, the Red Cross can provide assistance during times of crisis and can be reached at 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Tips For Staying Safe After Power Outages Happen

In addition to the tips mentioned earlier, there are several other safety measures you can take during a large-scale power outage. These measures can help prevent injury and ensure the safety of you and those around you.

Firstly, it’s important to stay away from power lines. Fallen power lines can be dangerous, and you should stay at least 35 feet away from them and anything they may be touching. IIf you see a power line that fell, call 911 ASAP.

In areas that have been affected by floods, it’s important to take precautions to avoid electrical shock. Don't go near flooded areas or use any electrical equipment or electronics that may have been submerged, as they could be dangerous. Don't use equipment or electronics until the electrical system is checked by a qualified electrical inspector.

It’s also important to check the temperature of your food during a power outage. If food has reached a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer, especially dairy and meat, it’s best to throw it out. Additionally, if you use refrigerated medicines, it’s important to ask your provider about their use during a power outage.

Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning during power outages by keeping generators, camp stoves, and charcoal grills outdoors at least 20 feet away from windows.

By following these additional safety tips, you can make sure your safety and the safety of those around you during a large-scale power outage. Remember to avoid fallen power lines, electrical shock in flood areas, watch your food’s temperature, and prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Always be prepared, stay informed, and stay safe during a power outage.

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