The Centers for Disease Control has issued tips to help prepare for and cope with the sudden loss of power.
If the power is out for fewer than two hours, then the food in your refrigerator and freezer will be safe to consume. While the power is out, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to keep food cold for longer.
If the power is out for longer than two hours, follow these guidelines:
Safe Drinking Water:
When power goes out, water purification systems may not fully function. Safe water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene includes bottled, boiled or treated water. Remember:
If you don't have clean, safe, bottled water and if boiling is not possible, you often can make water safer to drink by using a disinfectant, such as unscented household chlorine bleach, iodine or chlorine dioxide tablets. These can kill most harmful organisms, such as viruses and bacteria. However, only chlorine dioxide tablets are effective in controlling more resistant organisms, such as the parasite Cryptosporidium.
To disinfect water:
Be aware of the risk for heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps and fainting. To avoid heat stress, you should:
Heat stroke is the most serious heat illness. It happens when the body can't control its own temperature and its temperature rises rapidly. Sweating fails and the body cannot cool down. Body temperature may rise to 106 degrees or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency care is not given.
Warning signs of heat stroke vary but can include:
If you suspect someone has heat stroke follow these instructions:
First Aid for Electrical Shock:
If you believe someone has been electrocuted, take the following steps:
Power Line Hazards and Cars:
Safety at Work During Power Recovery:
As power returns after an outage, people at work may be at risk of electrical or traumatic injuries as power lines are re energized and equipment is reactivated. The CDC recommends that employers and employees be aware of those risks and take protective steps if they are in contact with or in proximity to power lines, electrical components and the moving parts of heavy machinery.