Power outages can cause a number of safety concerns; knowing the following information can help.
Before a power outage:
Register life-sustaining and medical equipment with your utility company. Register also with the Catasauqua 911 Community Registry for consideration of additional needs in the event of a power outage.
Consider buying a generator. When installing a generator, follow the instructions carefully. Keep your generator outside and run a cord inside. Don’t connect your generator to main service panels—it’s dangerous! Be sure to place a carbon monoxide detector indoors. Do not use a generator in garages, breezeways, or near doors or windows where carbon monoxide can seep indoors.
Make sure your disaster preparedness kit contains light sticks, flashlights, a battery-powered radio with extra batteries and a wind-up clock.
Have a corded telephone available — cordless phones will not work when the power is out.
Have a safe alternative heat source and supply of fuel. Never burn charcoal or use a generator indoors.
If you own an electric garage door opener, know how to open the door without power.
Have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in place equipped with backup batteries.
During a power outage:
Turn off lights and electrical appliances except for the refrigerator and freezer.
Even if it is dark, turn light switches and buttons on lamps or appliances to the off position.
Unplug computers and other sensitive equipment to protect them from possible surges when the power is restored.
Leave one lamp on so you will know when power is restored. Wait at least 15 minutes after power is restored before turning on other appliances.
Conserve water, especially if you use well water.
Never use gas ovens, gas ranges, barbecues or portable or propane heaters for indoor heating—they use oxygen and create carbon monoxide that can cause suffocation.
Candles can cause a fire. It’s far better to use battery-operated flashlights or glow sticks for lighting.
Using a kerosene heater, gas lantern or stove inside the house can be dangerous. Maintain proper ventilation at all times to avoid a build up of toxic fumes, and be sure to have a carbon monoxide detector.
Stay away from downed power lines and sagging trees with broken limbs. Check on neighbors during power outages.
Have extra cash on hand as ATM machines and credit card machines may not be working during power outages.
Report your power outage to your utility company.
Monitor the Catasauqua Emergency Management Agency Resource page electricity outage management maps for restoration times.
Do not dial 911 to report a power outage or ask for the status of power restoration unless you see downed wires, arcing wires or burning electrical equipment.
Be extra vigilant in your neighborhood during power outages and report suspicious activities to police. In the event traffic lights are out, treat these intersections as if they have four way stop signs.
Keep food safe during a power outage.