As Hurricane Sandy bears down on the state, power outages are affecting increasing numbers of residents. The Red Cross continues shelter operations across the state, as flooding and power outages force people from their homes. As of noon Monday, the Red Cross was supporting 22 shelters across Connecticut with a population of more than 980 people.
With the storm intensifying in the evening hours, it may be safest to shelter-in-place at home,” said American Red Cross spokesperson Paul Shipman.
Because fierce winds and flooding tonight are likely to increase the number of outages, the American Red Cross is offering tips to help plan for an outage and to stay safe should one occur.
“Being prepared ahead of time will help you and your family get through a storm as safely as possible,” Shipman said.
Tips for getting through a power outage:
- Do NOT use candles during a power outage, due to the high risk of fire
- Include in your emergency kit:
- portable radio – there are many hand-crank-powered radios now available
- Only use a flashlight for emergency lighting; never use candles
- Turn off electrical equipment you were using when the power went out
- If you expect to lose power in the near future, lower the temperature settings in your refrigerator and freezer. It’s a good idea to fully charge mobile phones ahead of an expected outage.
- Avoid opening the refrigerator and freezer too often while the power is out to help maintain temperatures
- Do NOT run a generator inside a home or garage; carbon monoxide is deadly. Keep generators several feet from your home and shield the power cord and generator from moisture.
- 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; that is a job for a professional electrician.
- Keep tuned to local radio and television for updated information
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 redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.