How to report power outages
What to prepare before the storm
●Family emergency plan. If you live in an older home, make arrangements to stay with friends or family members who have sturdier shelter. If you live or work in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor. Elderly or disabled people may need extra assistance. Remember that many shelters do not accept pets. Be prepared to evacuate if necessary.
●Emergency contacts. Make a list of emergency phone numbers and contact information. Put paper lists in a plastic bag.
●Water. Keep at least one gallon per person per day and prepare a three-day supply.
●Food and other provisions. Prepare a three-day supply of non-perishable (canned or dried) food per person. Include baby supplies and pet supplies as needed.
●Flashlights and extra batteries.
●A first-aid kit and a seven-day supply of medications and medical items such as glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane, etc.
●Personal documents. Medication list and medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies and contact information for your home insurance agent. Keep these in a plastic bag.
●Extra cash. ATMs and credit card machines may not work in the event of a power outage.
●Charge your cellphone. Keep chargers and an extra battery on hand.
●Fill your car’s gas tank and set aside an extra set of car and house keys.
●Secure your property. Bring inside bikes, lawn furniture and anything that can be picked up by the wind.
●Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters if you have them.
●Smoke detectors. Make sure they have fresh batteries and are operating properly.
●Generators. If you have one, review the instructions and ensure you have the right fuel and equipment.
What to do during the storm
● Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed to preserve food.
● Turn off or unplug propane tanks, electronic equipment and appliances.
● Stay indoors. Drive only if necessary.
● During power outages, don’t use candles — they can be a fire hazard.
● Don’t use gas cooking ranges for heating your home because of carbon monoxide hazards.
●If you go outside during the storm, stay away from loose or dangling power lines. Avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges.
● Wear protective clothing and closed-toed shoes.
● Use your cellphone for emergency calls only, to conserve battery life.
●Don’t bring generators indoors.
Check washingtonpost.com for continuous updates on weather, road conditions and more emergency information.