Winter Storms and Power Outages
Remember the Ice Storm? What did your family do that helped? What would you do differently if it happened again?
Winter storms pose a particular hazard in Maine, or anywhere in the north, because they may be accompanied by, or followed by, extreme cold. And if we get a lot of snow, you may not be able to get to the store for a day or two. Couple that with a power outage, and many Maine people will be challenged to stay well fed and warm. Remember the ice storm in 1998!
Here are some tips to help get you through safely.
- Listen to weather reports. Take storm warnings seriously.
- Make sure you have extra batteries for your radio and flashlights.
- Make sure you have food and water on hand, as well as any medicines you or your family may need. Check to see if you have fuel for the camp stove and/or propane for the grill. DO NOT USE THESE INDOORS.
- If you have a wood stove, or other source of heat that doesn’t require electricity, make sure you have plenty of wood, propane, kerosene, etc. USE THESE ALTERNATIVE HEAT SOURCES SAFELY.
- Haul some extra blankets and/or sleeping bags out of the closet. Make sure you didn’t leave them at camp last summer!
- If you have a generator, check it out and make sure you have fuel. DO NOT USE A GENERATOR IN AN ATTACHED GARAGE OR CELLAR, EVER!
- Check the batteries in your smoke detectors. Power outage situations pose special risks of fire.
- Stay warm! Hypothermia can sneak up on you. The elderly may be particularly susceptible to this. If you have an elderly neighbor, friend or relative, make sure they’re ok.
- MOST OF ALL! THINK SAFETY!
- Watch out for the candles.
- Don’t overtax yourself shoveling snow.
- Don’t be too quick to use the chain saw on that tree that’s down in the yard. [Make sure you use the proper safety equipment and procedures](http://www.maine.gov/mema/prepare/prep_display.shtml?163652), or get someone in who is trained in using a chain saw.
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