Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
When severe weather knocks out electric power to a home it can be more than just inconvenient. Hurricane Irma moved through the Southeast last weekend leaving millions in the dark. As of Tuesday morning, more than 7 million people in five states have lost their electric power. What do you do if you find yourself without electricity? What are the dangers? Here are a few tips from Ready.gov. During a Power Outage: 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. If food is in the refrigerator or freezer more than that, throw it out. Do not take chances with spoiled food.
Take steps to remain cool. Consider going to a movie theater, shopping mall or “cooling shelter” that may be open in your community. If you remain at home, move to the lowest level of your home, since cool air falls. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty.
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.