Severe storms often cause the power to go out, as happened in Maui the first week of December 2007. With a major noreaster set to hit New England this weekend, more power outages are likely. Here is a checklist of items you will need to see you and family through safely:
- 7-day supply of food that will not spoil, including pet food
- 1-gallon of drinking water per person and animal per day
- Emergency supply of medications
- Battery backup system, especially if you or anyone in your family uses a medical device
- Cell phone
- Flashlight with extra batteries for each person (headlamps keep both hands free)
- Battery-powered radio with extra batteries
- Telephone that doesn’t require power to operate
- Water purification tablets
- Hand sanitizer
- Gas grill for cooking with extra propane
- Extra blankets to stay warm if you have electric heat
- A full tank of gas in your car
- Books, magazines, and games to pass the time without TV
In addition to having these survival items on hand, there are a few other safety tips you should know. Because gas grills produce the deadly gas carbon monoxide, only use them outdoors away from windows. This goes for gas lanterns and generators, too. Turn off and unplug all electrical items to prevent damage from surges when the power is restored. Keep the refrigerator door closed as much as possible and throw away any food that has reached 40-degrees or more.
Make sure you have a hand-crank can opener, a stovetop tea kettle and liquid dish soap. These will make meal prep and cleanup easier.
Remember that if you live in the Northeast or other areas where the temperatures are below 32 F, you can put your food into a plastic bin, cover it and set it outside to keep cool.