People in the Northeastern region of the U.S. who were still grappling with a major snowstorm Tuesday morning faced the possibility of power outages as the storm raged on. The National Weather Service predicted that more than 28 million people would be affected by blizzard conditions through Tuesday night. In Massachusetts, an estimated tens of thousands were without power early Tuesday morning and National Grid, a New England power company, said many of its seven million customers were in danger of losing power, reported WCVB, Boston’s ABC TV affiliate.
Weather-related power outages are common. But there are things that home- and apartment-dwelling residents can do to stay warm, healthy and safe during an extended power outage caused by extreme winter weather. For starters, refrigerators can be turned to the coldest setting to preserve perishable food, according to experts at AccuWeather. Try also not to open the refrigerator and freezer doors too often, to keep in the cold air. Stocking up on non-perishable food items can come in handy if food has spoiled in a long outage.
For other power needs, generator are often used to run some appliances. Homeowners are often advised to not run gas-powered generators from a garage or inside the home, as they produce deadly carbon monoxide fumes that are odorless and not undetectable without CO monitors. Necessary appliances should be plugged directly into the generator, according to AccuWeather. A generator that is connected to a home's wiring can create a hazardous, potentially lethal electrical current for anyone working on the utility lines to restore the power.
If night falls, having a supply of flashlights and batteries can provide much-needed light. Other tips suggested by AccuWeather include running a small trickle of water from home sinks to prevent pipes from freeze and unplugging any unnecessary appliances and equipment, except one lamp, to prevent a power surge from destroying the items’ electronic components when power is restored.