NORWALK, Conn. — As a coastal storm makes its way to the area on Monday and Tuesday, the Norwalk Fire Department is warning of an increased chance for high winds and potential power outages, heavy rain and moderate coastal flooding.
The Norwalk Fire Department is reminding residents of some power outage safety tips from FEMA to help prepare for a power outage.
Residents are also reminded to monitor media for weather updates since forecasts can change quickly. For updates during and after severe weather, follow Norwalk’s Office of Emergency Management on Facebook or Twitter , said Michele DeLuca, deputy director of Emergency Management.
Before a power outage:
- Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit , including a flashlight, batteries, cash and first aid supplies.
- Make sure you have alternative charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power.
- Charge cellphones and any battery-powered devices.
- Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it.
- Purchase ice or freeze water-filled plastic containers to help keep food cold during a power outage.
- Keep your car’s gas tank full — gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.If you use your car to re-charge devices, do NOT keep the car running in a garage, partially enclosed space, or close to a home, this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
- If you rely on anything that is battery-operated or power dependent like a medical device determine a back-up plan.
During a power outage:
- Only use flashlights for emergency lighting, candles can cause fires.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
- Put on layers of warm clothing. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Never use your oven as a source of heat.
- Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power “surge” that can damage computers and other devices. Consider adding surge protectors.
- If you are considering purchasing a generator for your home, consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing.
- Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home’s electrical system.
After a power outage:
- Don’t assume your power company knows you have an outage or that your neighbors will report it. If you have an outage, contact your power company to let them know.
- Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures of 40 degrees for two hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out.
- If food in the freezer is colder than 40 degrees and has ice crystals on it, you can refreeze it.
- Contact your doctor if you’re concerned about medications having spoiled.