Ocean water rolls over NC 12 at the north end of Buxton, N.C. at dawn on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. Waves from offshore Hurricane Sandy are battering Hatteras Island. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Steve Earley)
(AP) -- Here are some tips on how to handle threats to or loss of electrical power:
If you still have power but it could go out at any time:
— Find out where your fuse box is located and check to ensure no fuse is tripped. Keep spare fuses handy.
— Put your medication in your refrigerator. Most meds can be kept in a closed fridge for several hours without a problem.
— Check your car's gas tank to make sure it is at least half full. Gas pumps need electricity to run, so stations may shut down.
— Carry a house key in your pocket, wallet or purse. If your power goes out and you regularly enter your home through the garage, your electric-powered garage door won't be able to open and you will need a key to get inside your front or back door.
— Make sure you have spare batteries for flashlights and matches for candles.
If your power is already out:
— Use flashlights, candles or oil lamps for light.
— Don't use kerosene heaters, barbeque grills or any outdoor-type heater indoors. These create poisonous gases.
— Try not to open your refrigerator and freezer doors too much. The food inside should stay cold for hours as long as the door is shut.
— Unplug unnecessary electronics like computers, televisions and stereos. When the power does come back on, all of these will turn on at once and can result in a power surge. But leave a light on so that you will know when the power returns.
— If it's cool, dress in layers to stay warm. Wear gloves and a knit hat. If you can't get warm, take a warm shower. Even if your hot water tank is electric, the water in it will stay warm for a few hours.
Sources: Federal Emergency Management Agency, California Energy Commission Consumer Energy Center.
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