Indiana weather can be unpredictable, especially during the winter months. Heavy snows, freezing rain and ice storms can all cause power outages. The inclement weather could also make it dangerous to venture outside the home. It is important to develop a plan for prolonged outages during these harsh months so your family isn’t caught off guard.
Northeastern REMC recommends residents keep a storm preparedness kit fully stocked. The basic supplies in this kit should include bottled water, non-perishable food, emergency blankets, a first aid kit, flashlight, battery-operated radio with extra batteries and plenty of toiletries.
“Winter storms can not only cause power outages, but the working conditions for our linemen are especially harsh. We want to get the power back on as quickly as possible, but we also want to send our guys home to their families safely." said Jared Boggs, Safety, Regulatory and Loss Prevention Coordinator at Northeastern REMC. "During storms like this, we advise members to stay in their homes and eliminate any unnecessary travel especially on roads where our line crews are working.
Besides having a storm preparedness kit ready, there are other things you can do to prepare for a winter power outage:
- Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. If you hear reports of a winter storm heading your way, get your refills before the storm arrives.
- If you have alternative heating sources for emergencies like fireplaces or wood-burning stoves be sure they are clean and in working order.
- Have extra blankets on hand and enough for each family member.
- Remember, you might not always have access to your cell phone. Phone systems, including landlines, are often overwhelmed following a disaster. Keep important numbers written down and in a safe place. Designate a person out of your local area who can help your family reconnect if needed. Be sure to share and practice this plan with everyone involved.
Once an outage is over, there are still safety precautions to take. Electrical power lines could still be down. If you see downed power lines, do not touch them or go near them. Call 911 immediately and stay clear. For more tips on winter storm preparedness or for more electrical safety tips, follow Northeastern REMC on Facebook.