Are you prepared for the cold?
When winter temperatures drop, it can be challenging to stay safe and warm. We don’t usually have winter storms that knock out power in our area, but they can – and have – happened. We care about your safety, and we want you to be prepared.
Heavy snow and ice can lead to downed power lines, leaving co-op members without power. During extremely low temperatures, this can be dangerous. During a power outage, our crews will continue to work as quickly and safely as possible to restore power, but there are a few things you can do to prepare yourself.
- Prepare a survival kit – The kit should include three days’ worth of non-perishable food, water and medication for each person in your home; a first-aid kit; battery-powered radio; flashlight and extra batteries; extra clothes and blankets; and food and other supplies for pets.
- Stay warm – Plan to use a safe alternate heating source, such as a fireplace or wood-burning stove during a power outage. These are great options to keep you and your loved ones warm, but exercise caution when using, and never leave the heating source unattended. If you are using gasoline-, propane- or natural gas-burning devices to stay warm, never use them indoors. Remember that fuel- and wood-burning sources of heat should always be properly ventilated. Always read the manufacturer’s directions before using.
- Stay fed – The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends having several days’ supply of food that does not need to be cooked handy. Crackers, cereal, canned goods and bread are good options. Five gallons of water per person should also be available in the event of an extended power outage.
- Stay safe – When an outage occurs, it usually means power lines are down. It is best not to travel during winter storms, but if you must, do not travel alone and take a survival kit along. Stock the kit with blankets, booster cables, flares and a tire pump; a bag of sand or cat litter for tire traction; flashlight, battery-powered radio, and extra batteries; and a first aid kit.
If you encounter downed lines, always assume they are live. Stay as far away from the downed lines as possible, and report the situation to our dispatchers by calling 252.247.3107 if possible.
Don’t forget to check on family, friends and neighbors who are especially at risk from cold weather hazards. If you have pets, bring them inside. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate, warm shelter and unfrozen water to drink.