Snow, sleet, ice, or thunderstorms sometimes make electric outages unavoidable. To minimize inconvenience, discomfort and danger, prepare ahead for the possibility of severe weather.
If you have access to a computer, visit GreyStone’s outage status page to see where outages are or to report an outage.
If you use a generator, follow instructions closely to avoid backfeeds that can hurt lineworkers. Never run a generator in an enclosed area, where carbon monoxide could collect. Visit our safety page to learn more.
Create an emergency kit with a battery-powered radio, battery-powered clock, manual can opener, flashlights, candles, extra batteries, matches, a first-aid kit, a fire extinguisher, bottled water and non-perishable food. Remember that flashlights are safer to use than candles.
If your home has a fireplace or wood stove, keep a good supply of wood on hand. When you hear that a storm is approaching, make sure that a few days’ worth of wood is stored in a protected area so it won’t be wet when you need to burn it.
If you have extra heaters that use kerosene or another fuel, make sure you have adequate supplies of fuel available. Use fuel-burning heaters only in a well-ventilated area. Never burn charcoal indoors! The fumes are noxious. Always store fuel in a cool, dry place—not in your home.
Don’t toss out old, worn blankets or quilts. Keep them stored for emergencies. They not only help you stay warm, but can be used to cover doors, windows and other sources of cold-air leaks during an outage.
If you have a well, fill up bathtubs with water to be used for flushing toilets and other uses.
If you cook on an outdoor grill, move it at least three feet away from the house. Never use a charcoal or gas grill indoors—both can emit carbon monoxide.
Avoid opening your refrigerator or freezer during a power outage. Food can stay fresh up to 12 hours in the refrigerator and up to 24 hours in the freezer, as long as no outside air gets in.
If someone in your family needs electronic medical equipment, make sure you have an alternative power supply before the storm hits.
To keep pipes from freezing in a cold house, turn on faucets, keeping them dripping.
Unplug appliances with sophisticated electronics such as DVRs, DVD and BluRay players, televisions, computers and microwave ovens so they aren’t damaged by a surge when the power comes back on. Leave one light on so you’ll know when power is restored, and then gradually reconnect your remaining appliances to avoid overloading the circuits.
After the storm, replace used batteries in your emergency kit and restock food and water to be prepared for the next storm.