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What to do when the power goes out

Two power outages caused more than 19,000 people to be without power in the last 24 hours. That presents a good question: How do we prepare for any type of power outage, big or small?

Emergency experts said to start by notifying your local energy supplier.

Next, you want to conserve your fuel.

“Staying in one room, heating one room,” said Kellie Farrar, of the Bonneville County Office of Emergency Management. “Not opening the refrigerator, because (people will) lose the power from that.”

Especially during these colder months, experts said it is important to do your best to stay warm. Keeping those warm clothes and blankets on hand is key.

“We’re naturally going to end up dressing in layers, we’re going to put on more clothes,” said Rusty Kappel, the owner of The Preparedness Store.

When it is at a time when kids are out of school and at home during the day, what should parents do to keep them warm? Experts suggest trying to find an area of town that has not been affected by the outage.

“I know that a few years ago when the power was out, the mall actually had electricity, and it was highly suggested that people go to the mall,” Farrar said. “Where it was warm and where it could keep the kids busy.”

Another tip on what to do when the lights go out is for people to keep their doors closed. Experts advise those without power to avoid running in and out of the front door and opening the garage.

“All that’s doing is allowing more of the cold air in,” Kappel said.

Experts said it is also wise to stock up on the necessities now.

“Preparedness is something we do before, not during or after,” Kappel said. “It’s a great time to get that stuff together and go from there.”

The Preparedness Store recommends using solar lanterns and flashlights to keep you out of the dark. As well as having enough food and water to last you a reasonable time.

“We definitely want to have a supply that will definitely last you at least two weeks,” Kappel said. “Personally I like at least a month’s supply. In the event that (some supplies) aren’t available, we got those (emergency supplies) to meet our needs.”

The Bonneville County Office of Emergency Management recommends that you check and update your emergency preparedness kits every time the time changes in the fall.

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