Tips if your power goes out

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Check main switch for blown fuse or open circuit breaker. Turn off all appliances except the refrigerator and one light. (This prevents a power surge when power is restored.)

· Use manual override on garage-door opener.

· Stay away from downed power lines.

Using generators safely

· Disconnect house circuits before using.

· Always operate unit outdoors to prevent buildup of toxic fumes.

· Plug appliances directly into generator. Never plug generator into a household outlet because power can flow back to utility’s main system and injure utility workers trying to restore power.

Staying warm in the cold

· Close off main room from rest of house. Close drapes and doors to retain heat.

· Use fireplace, burning seasoned wood with damper open.

· Fill portable heaters outdoors and store fuel outdoors in proper container. Ventilate kerosene heaters. Keep heaters from curtains, bedding, furniture, clothing and flames, and always turn space heaters off before going to bed.

· Never use a barbecue or hibachi indoors; charcoal produces toxic fumes.

· Never use oven as heat source.

Food safety

· Eat food from refrigerator first. Open refrigerator door sparingly. Kept closed, a refrigerator should remain cold for 12 hours.

· Leave freezer door shut. Food should stay frozen about two days.

· If in doubt about food, throw it out. Eat canned or other nonperishable food.

· If you have a woodstove with a flat top, you can cook on it.

· Cook on a barbecue outdoors only.

Emergency supplies. Have enough food, water and candles to last four days. Include these items in your home’s emergency kit:

· Flashlights, fresh batteries

· Lanterns with flame protectors, fuel

· Emergency candles, matches

· Battery-powered clock, fresh batteries

· Battery-powered radio, fresh batteries

· Manual can opener

· Ready-to-eat food such as peanut butter, soup, energy bars

· Paper plates, paper cups, plastic utensils

· 1 gallon of water per person per day

· Blanket, head covering for each person

· Cellular phone

· First-aid kit and adequate supply of necessary medications

Sources: City of Seattle, Seattle City Light, Puget Sound Energy, WSU/King County Cooperative Extension, AAA Washington.