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Atlanta Snow Storm: Preparing Your Household

9:38 AM, Jan 9, 2011   |    comments
(File Photo Courtesy Carl Lynn, Sky Valley)
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ATLANTA -- While many people's first instinct may be to head to the grocery store to stock up ahead of a potentially major snow storm starting Sunday night, there's a lot to do around the house too.

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Walton EMC offered these storm preparation tips:

Light - Secure flashlights, battery-powered lanterns and extra batteries. Avoid light sources that require a flame or fire.

Water - If you depend on a well, fill bathtubs or other large containers for household use, like flushing toilets. Fill clean pitchers or jugs for drinking water.

Food - Nonperishable foods that don't need cooking are ideal, like canned fruit, powdered milk, peanut butter, bread and crackers. Don't forget a manual can opener.

Heat - Have blankets, sleeping bags and extra clothes, including hats. If you have a fireplace, gather kindling and a good supply of wood. Be extremely careful when using alternate heating sources. Some are not approved for indoor use and could be a fire or carbon monoxide hazard. Make sure your fire extinguisher is charged and working.

Information - Have a portable radio with extra batteries or a wind up weather radio handy. A wind-up or battery powered alarm clock may also be useful. Cordless phones don't work without power, so have at least one wired phone available. Remember to charge your cell phone in advance.

Loved Ones - Have a contingency plan in place for patients who have a medical necessity for electricity. This may include backup power, extra supplies or an alternate location until the outage is over.

If the power goes out:

Limit freezer and refrigerator door openings. Food will keep longer if doors remain closed. Check items for spoilage before serving. Don't cook inside with charcoal.

Try to keep outside door openings to a minimum and use blankets, sleeping bags and extra clothes to help stay warm. Dress in layers and wear a hat. Cover drafty windows and doors with blankets. Close off doors and stay in the room with your heat source. If the room has openings without doors, use blankets to cover them.

If you use a portable generator, isolate it from our lines. Generators that are not isolated can feed back into our electrical system and possibly electrocute anyone coming in contact with those wires. If you don't have the correct generator transfer switch connected to your home's electrical system, plug appliances directly into the generator using a properly sized extension cord.

Turn off all large appliances that come on automatically, like electric water heaters, heat pumps and space heaters. Make sure appliances you were using when the outage occurred, like ovens, stoves, irons or power tools are turned off. Disconnect sensitive electronics like TVs, VCRs and computers to avoid damage from surges.

When the power comes back on, give the electric system a chance to stabilize by gradually using the appliances you turned off. Use only the most essential first and wait 15 minutes on the others, including water and space heating.

Stay away from any downed lines (no matter what type) and notify your power company about them immediately.

Stay with 11Alive News and 11Alive.com for the latest news and weather before, during and after the storm.

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