September is National Preparedness Month: Week 4

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The hazard-focused theme for week four of National Preparedness Month is power outages. Although power outages can happen anytime, they are often associated with severe weather. Power outages can last for several hours or several days, it is important to plan for them. The Ready Campaign offers the following tips to prepare.

Before a power outage:

• Charge devices that use battery power and ensure you have extra batteries for the device.

• Identify local sources where you can purchase dry, or block ice.

• Keep your car tank at least half-full because gas stations rely on electricity to fuel their pumps.

• Create a disaster supply kit that includes alternative cell phone chargers, a flashlight, water and nonperishable food, a non-electric can opener, cash and a battery or hand-crank radio.

If you require power for medical or assistive devices, get battery back-ups for the devices, know how long the batteries will last, plan a location you can move to that has power, and register to be identified as someone that has power dependent medical devices with local emergency management.

During a power outage:

• Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed. For most standard size refrigerators and freezers, a cool temperature will be maintained for several hours. For food, plan on having a cooler with conventional or dry ice available.

• Use flashlights for emergency lighting. Never use candles due to extreme risk of fire.

• Only use a generator outside of your home and keep it away from windows and doors.

• For drugs that require refrigeration, check the manufacturer’s label or contact your doctor for guidance. Most drugs can be stored on ice for several hours.

• Prepare to keep refrigerated medications in a closed cooler until the power comes back on.

Learn the importance of being prepared for power outages and get more survival tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency “Going off Grid” resource guide.

Please contact the Readiness and Emergency Management Flight at 325-654-3245 or at 17cesreadiness@us.af.mil with any disaster related questions.