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National Preparedness Month – Power Outage Safety

Power Outage Safety
Don’t wait. Communicate. Make your emergency plan today.

National Preparedness Month is a good time to get ready for emergencies and the American Red Cross asks everyone to make their disaster plans now to ensure their household is ready when emergencies happen.

The overall theme of National Preparedness Month this year is “Don’t wait. Communicate. Make your emergency plan today.” The campaign also features a weekly disaster focus and the spotlight this week is on power outages.

POWER OUTAGE Power outages can be frustrating, especially when they last a long time. Here are steps you should take when the power goes out:

  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Use perishable food in the refrigerator first. Then use food from the freezer. Use non-perishable foods and staples next.
  • If it looks like the outage will last more than a day, fill a cooler with ice for your freezer items.
  • Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment, including electronics.
  • Turn off or disconnect appliances like stoves and electronics you were using when the power went out. Surges can damage equipment when the power returns.
  • Leave one light turned on so you know when the power is back on.
  • Don’t make unnecessary trips, especially by car. Traffic lights will be out and roads congested.
  • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
  • SHOP RED CROSS STORE Right now through September 30, 2015 you can use the coupon code PREPAREDNESS for a 10 percent discount off items from the Red Cross store to help you be ready for emergencies.

    DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY The all-inclusive Emergency app combines more than 35 emergency alerts to help keep the user safe, including information about what to do in case of floods, thunderstorms, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires and more. Users can find it in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to

    About the American Red Cross:
    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.