Winter weather can bring ice storms that may cause power outages as trees and branches fall on power lines.  Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to be prepared for such events:

  1. Assemble a “storm kit.”  Include a battery-operated radio or television, flashlight, a first-aid kit, battery-powered or windup clock, extra batteries, an insulated cooler, and a list of important and emergency phone numbers.
  2. Cover windows with drapes or blankets to minimize heat loss at night.  During the day, open blinds to let the sun warm the space.
  3. Dress in loose layers.
  4. Using candles for light may sound like a good idea, but be cautious that you never leave them unattended.
  5. Keep at least a 3-day supply of nonperishable foods and bottled water, and have a hand-operated can opener available.
  6. Check for medical supplies, prescription drugs, and any special health items, such as contact lens supplies or infant supplies.
  7. Use portable generators in a well-ventilated area.  Never run it inside your garage since the carbon monoxide fumes can be deadly.

If you do lose power, remember to call your power company.  Homeowners on medical support equipment should identify a location with emergency power capabilities and plan to go there in the event of a pro-longed outage.