Tropical Storm Isaias left many of us without power. Losing power is more than just a nuisance, it can cause food to go bad, close essential businesses like gas stations and grocery stores, and even prevent some from using medical devices. With hurricane season upon us, it’s important to know what to do—and more importantly, what not to do—when a power outage occurs. We’ve put together some tips and tricks for the next time you find yourself without power.

Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed
One of the most frustrating aspects of a power outage is perishable food items going bad. Once the power goes out, refrigerators will typically keep items cold for around four hours, and freezers will keep its temperature for about 48 hours. However, opening and closing the doors frequently will let the warm air in and the cool air out. Try to only remove or add things to the refrigerator or freezer unless you absolutely have to. Once the power is back on, if the internal temperature is 40 degrees or above, play it safe and toss the perishables away!

Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning
This may not be top of mind when your power goes out, but carbon monoxide poisoning is a concern. If you are using a generator or charcoal grill, be sure to keep these devices outside at all times and at least 20 feet away from windows. Also, if the power goes out during the colder weather, although tempting, do NOT use gas stoves to warm your house—this could cause an explosion. Although not a threat for carbon monoxide poisoning, also remember to use caution when using candles to avoid a fire!

Disconnect appliances and electronics
Even though they’re not working at the moment, devices, and appliances that are left turned on or plugged in during the outage may cause a surge when the power is returned. To avoid an electric surge that can cause ample damage, be sure to unplug major appliances and electronic devices or at least make sure they are turned off.

Have backup charges for devices
In today’s day and age, cellphones, and electronic devices like laptops have become a major part of our daily lives. In the case of a power outage, these devices could run out of battery if not fully charged. This is not only inconvenient but may be dangerous in the event that you need to call 911 or get in touch with a family member or friend. Be sure your devices are charged before a storm hits and consider investing in a portable charger just in case.

If anything goes awry while the power is out, we’re here for you! Whether its water damage, fire damage, mold, or more—give us a call and we’ll get your house back to feeling like paradise.

Source: www.ready.gov