POWER OUTAGES: Reminders to help keep you and your family safe


A wintry mix is heading to mid-Michigan this Saturday.

The winter storm is expected to bring a mix of ice, snow and rain, depending on where in Michigan you are. For the latest updates on weather, visit 6 News’ Storm Tracker 6 Forecast here.

With these conditions, it’s important to keep in mind that the power could go out.

Here are some steps you can take before, during and after a power outage.

Before for a power outage:

*       Fill plastic containers with water and place them in the refrigerator and freezer. Cold water bottles will help keep food cold during a power outage and can also be used for drinking water.
*       Check with your physician or pharmacist about any medication that needs to be refrigerated. It is important to know how long medication is safe in the refrigerator without power.
*       Make a plan to prepare for family members with disabilities or who have ill health.
*       Try to keep gas tanks at least half full. If the power goes out, gas stations may be unavailable.
*       Have extra cash available. ATMs will not work without electricity.
*       Keep a key to the house with you when away from home. The garage will not open if the power is out.

During a power outage:

*       Use only flashlights or emergency lighting. Never use candles during a blackout or power outage due to fire risk.
*       Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to keep the contents inside as fresh as possible. If you must eat food, check it carefully for signs of spoilage.
*       Turn off or disconnect appliances and electronics. The return of power may cause surges that can damage them.
*       If it is hot outside, move to the lowest level of your home, wear lightweight, light-colored clothing, and drink water.
*       If it is cold outside, dress in warm clothing and layers, keep doors shut and never use the stove or charcoal as a source of heat.
*       Use extreme caution when driving.
*       Do not call 911 to ask about the power outage. Listen to a battery powered radio for updates.
*       Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning by not using grills, unvented gas or kerosene heaters, generators or ovens and stoves in the house.

After a power outage:

*       Throw away food that has been exposed to temperatures more than 40 degrees for two hours or more, or if they have unusual color, odor or texture. Remember: When in doubt, throw it out!
*       Report downed lines. Stay away. Stay safe!

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