Experts: Include Power Outages in Hurricane Plans


People should prepare now for the possible effects of tropical storms and hurricanes this hurricane season – and it’s important to take extended power outages into consideration when making their own plans, urges Texas-New Mexico Power.

“We recommend that customers have a plan that will assist them in going days -- or perhaps even weeks -- without electricity (if) our crews work to restore power,” the company says.

It offers these tips if there’s the threat of a storm:

--Before the storm, check that emergency equipment such as flashlights, battery-operated radios and backup generators are in working order and charge mobile phones.

--Customers on life support should take appropriate measures to ensure their safety in the case of a long-term power outage. Those customers are encouraged to consider relocating in advance of the hurricane in order to avoid power interruption.

--Avoid all downed lines.

--Assume any line on the ground is energized – and dangerous – and remain a safe distance away.

--Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings the day before the storm to keep food fresh in the event of a power outage. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about four hours if unopened. A freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half-full).

--Electric garage doors won't open if the power is out. Be sure to have a door key so you can re-enter after an evacuation.

--Portable generator owners should review product directions to ensure safe operation, including operating only individual appliances directly and not trying to power entire homes.

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