What To Do If Sandy Knocks Your Power Out

Getty Images

A NASA image of Hurricane Sandy

Pennsylvania will likely be hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. The Monday morning projection shows the storm will make its way across southeast Pennsylvania, before turning north over Huntingdon County. Governor Corbett has urged people to prepare to go several days without power.
So what, exactly, should you do if the lights out? A press release from Pennsylania’s Public Utility Commission lists suggestions:
Step one: contact your utility to inform the company of the outage, and to ask for additional information. Other tips include:

  • Turn off lights and electrical appliances except for the refrigerator and freezer. When power comes back on, it may come back with momentary “surges” or “spikes” that can damage equipment. After you turn the lights off, turn one lamp on so you will know when power is restored. Wait at least 15 minutes after power is restored before turning on other appliances.
  • Only use a flashlight or battery-operated lanterns for emergency lighting. Do not use candles.
  • Avoid opening the refrigerator and freezer.  Food can stay cold for a couple of hours if the doors remain closed. For longer outages, plan to place refrigerator and freezer items in coolers with ice. If in doubt, throw it out. The state Department of Agriculture has more information on food safety.
  • If you are going to use a generator, do not run it inside a home or garage. If you use a generator, connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. Do not connect a generator to a home’s electrical system. Generators also should not be run near any open windows or other areas where carbon monoxide may travel into the home such as air vents.

If you have to leave the house, avoid downed power lines, and don’t drive through puddles. They may be deeper than you realize.
Track the storm’s progress here.