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For Electric Cooperative Members
For Electric Cooperative Members

The Power of Preparation

Lessen the impact of an emergency by having supplies on hand

With severe weather events occurring more frequently, it makes sense to be prepared. During a prolonged power outage or other emergency, this means having enough food, water and other supplies to last at least a few days.

In conjunction with National Preparedness Month in September, remember the power of preparation. Even at a modest level, preparation can help reduce stress and anxiety and lessen the impact of an emergency event.

Here are general guidelines from the Federal Emergency Management Agency:

  • Assemble a grab-and-go disaster kit. Include items like nonperishable food, water (1 gallon per person, per day), diapers, batteries, flashlights, prescription medications, a first-aid kit, a battery-powered radio and phone chargers.
  • Create a household evacuation plan that includes your pets.
  • Develop a plan for communicating with family and friends (via text, social media or messaging app).
  • Have some extra cash available. During a power outage, electronic card readers and cash machines may not work.
  • Store important documents (birth certificates, property deeds, etc.) in a safe place away from home (for example, a bank safe deposit box).
  • Keep neighbors and co-workers apprised of your plans.
  • Fill your car with gas.

Care for Family Members

If you have older family members or those with special needs, make sure they have enough medication and supplies for a few days. If you have an infant or young children, make certain that you have ample formula, diapers, medication and other supplies on hand to weather an outage lasting several days or more.

Keep Pets Safe

  • Bring pets indoors at the first sign of a storm or other emergency. Animals can become disoriented and frightened during severe weather and may wander off.
  • Microchip your pets and ensure the contact information is up to date.
  • Store pet medical records on a USB drive or in an easy-to-remember location.
  • Create an emergency kit for pets (include shelf-stable food, bottled water, medications and other supplies).

Be Outage Ready

Severe storms may not require evacuation but may result in power outages. Here are some tips to prepare for that possibility.

Stock up responsibly. It’s paramount to stock up on food, water and nonperishable items in case you can’t heat up or cool down anything. But everyone is going to be in the same boat as you if a power outage occurs, so try not to purchase more than what you’ll need and leave supplies for others.

If possible, get a generator. This can basically make it seem like you aren’t even experiencing a blackout. Whether you get a portable generator to keep a few lights on, a standby generator that will automatically click on when it senses an outage or one that’s powerful enough to light the whole house, it’ll be one of the best purchases you’ve made. But it’s critical that any generator be installed and used safely.

Stay in the know. Keep your eye on the sky and monitor the news as best you can to get a better idea of when things might get back to normal.