What to do if Hurricane Irma blows you off the power grid
iStock/Thinkstock(MIAMI) — Roughly 1.6 million people are without power in Florida as a result of Hurricane Irma, and Elaine Duke, the acting U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, told ABC News on Sunday that “over 5 million households” could be without power before it’s over.
More specifically, three-quarters of the City of Miami has no access to power as the storm rolls through, according to the mayor.
Here’s what to do if you’re without power in a storm, according to a page on Ready.gov, a national public service campaign operated by the federal government.
Use flashlights and not candles
The government notes that candles can cause fires, and should be avoided.
Protect your food supply
The government suggests that the doors of refrigerators and freezers should be firmly closed, and that food requiring refrigeration can typically be kept in a closed refrigerator for several hours without causing concern.
“An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours,” the government notes. “A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.”
Stay cool if it’s hot, and wear layers in the cold
If the weather is hot, Ready.gov suggests, you should try to stay cool by wearing lightweight clothing, and drinking water, even if you do not feel thirsty.
If the weather if cold, wear layers and never burn charcoal for cooking or warmth.
Ready.gov also recommends that Americans pull the plug or turn off appliances during a power outage to avoid momentary power surges.
Such incidents can damage computers and other devices, the website notes.
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