Snow in metro Atlanta: How to prepare for a power outage

021815 weather ba05If you’re worried about losing electricity, there are steps you can take in advance to make power loss a little easier.

Turn up the heat inside. Try to keep doors closed and drafts out so your home stays warm as long as possible.

Charge your cell phone, laptop, tablets and plug-in flashlights.

Fill freezer bags with water and put them in your freezer. That should help reduce air space and keep the freezer’s contents cold longer. It also gives you ice should you need to pack food in a cooler later.

Have a flashlight handy. (Using the light on your smartphone will suck energy away you might need to actually make a phone call.) Make sure you have extra batteries and a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio.

Georgia Power customers can sign up to receive text or email outage alerts and status updates here:

Once power goes out…

Switch off appliances from stoves to computers, TVs, microwaves and washing machines.  That should help reduce the risk of overloading circuits within seconds of the power coming back on. Leave on one light so you can tell when the power is back.

Keep refrigerator and freezer doors shut. That should help keep the food inside cold longer.

If power has been out for less than four hours, food inside a refrigerator or freezer that’s been kept closed should be safe, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Perishables like milk and meat could become a problem if kept above 40 degrees for more than 2 hours, according to the American Red Cross.

More tips about food safety during an outage are available from the American Red Cross here and from the CDC here

Don’t run equipment that burns fuel (such as a charcoal-burning grill or some generators) inside an enclosed space. The buildup of carbon monoxide can be deadly.  It should be OK to cook with a camp stove, fireplace or can of Sterno.

If power goes out to your entire neighborhood and you are a Georgia Power customer, the company says it should be aware of the problem and you don’t need to call in the first 24 hours.

For information about where power outages are occurring:

Cobb EMC:

Georgia Power:

GreyStone Power Corporation

Jackson EMC:

Sawnee EMC:

— Matt Kempner

Read more of our weather coverage and updates here.

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