IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Power outages can occur anytime due to factors such as storms, animals and accidents.
When outages occur, you don't know how long the power will be out, so it's important to be prepared for both before the outage and during the outage.
Idaho Falls Power suggests the following:
Before an outage:
- Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash and first aid supplies.
- Make sure you have alternative charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power.
- Charge cell phones and other battery-powered devices.
- Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage opener is located and how to operate it.
- Purchase ice or freeze water-filled plastic containers to help keep food cold during a temporary power outage.
- Keep your car’s gas tank full, as gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps. If you use your car to recharge devices, do NOT keep the car running in a garage, partially enclosed space or close to a home, as this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Learn about the emergency plans established in your area. To learn more visit www.co.bonnevile.id.us.
- If you rely on anything that is battery-operated or power dependent like oxygen or other medical devices, establish a back-up plan.
During an outage:
- Communicate with the power company about downed power lines and outages, and report whether your neighbors have also lost power.
- Only use flashlights for emergency lighting because candles can cause fires.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food that requires refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
- Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Never use your oven as a source of heat. Never use space heaters as a primary heat source. If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location (the home of a relative or friend, or a public facility) that has heat to keep you warm.
- Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power surge that can damage computers and other devices. This will also prevent overloaded circuits.
- If you are considering purchasing a generator for your home, consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing.
- Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home’s electrical system.
To learn more about emergency preparation, visit www.ready.gov.