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Safety Tips from FLASH if Power Goes Out

Alex Alexopoulos

Saturday, July 19, 2014 • 2:00am

With the slight risk of severe weather that could bring damaging winds and hail, the nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)® offers the following 15 safety tips for residents to stay safe if the power goes out and hail falls.

Power Outage Safety

Keep a supply of flashlights, batteries and a battery-powered radio on hand. Do not use candles if the power goes out as they pose a fire hazard.

Fill plastic containers with water, leaving about an inch of space inside each one (water expands as it freezes so it is important to leave room in the container for the expanded water). Place containers in the refrigerator and freezer to help keep food cold if the power goes out.

Avoid opening the fridge or freezer. Food should be safe as long as the outage lasts no more than four-six hours.

Back up computer files and operating systems.

Unplug or disconnect any electrical devices that were in use when the power went out. Turn off all lights but one, to alert you when power resumes.

If the power goes out, move to the lowest level of your home and wear lightweight, light-colored clothing to keep cool.

Drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty. If the heat is intense and the power may be off for a long time, consider going to a movie theater, shopping mall or "cooling shelter" that may be opened in your community.

Remember to provide plenty of fresh, cool water for your pets.

When power comes back on, it may come back with momentary "surges" or "spikes" that can damage equipment such as computers and motors in appliances like the air conditioner, refrigerator, washer or furnace.

When power is restored, wait a few minutes before turning on major appliances to help eliminate further problems caused by a sharp increase in demand.

Staying Safe If Hail Falls

Close your drapes, blinds or window shades to prevent potential injury from broken glass blowing inside. Do not try to go outside to protect your property during a storm. Stay indoors until the storm has passed.

Stay away from skylights, windows and doors.

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