With severe weather events occurring more frequently, now more than ever, it makes sense to prepare for winter storms. During a prolonged power outage or other emergencies, this means having enough food, water, and supplies to last at least a few days.
In honor of National Preparedness Month in September, we want to remind members of our community about the power of preparation. While you don’t have to achieve a “doomsday prepper” level of preparedness, there are several practical steps you can take to keep yourself and your family safe.
Even at a modest level, preparation can help reduce stress and anxiety and lessen the impact of an emergency event. We recommend starting with the basics.
Here are general guidelines recommended by the Federal Emergency Management Agency:
- Assemble a grab-and-go disaster kit. Include items like nonperishable food, water (one gallon per person, per day), diapers, batteries, flashlights, prescription medications, a first-aid kit, battery-powered radio, and phone chargers.
- Develop a plan for communicating with family and friends (i.e., via text, social media, third party, etc.).
- Keep some extra cash available; during a power outage, electronic card readers and cash machines may not work.
- Store important documents (birth certificates, property deeds, etc.) in a safe place away from home (for example, a bank safe deposit box).
- Keep neighbors and coworkers apprised of your emergency plans.
- Fill your car with gas before the expected storm hits.
- Organize your supplies in an easily accessible location that family members know.
Caring for vulnerable family members
If you have older family members or those with special needs, make sure they have enough medication and supplies for a few days. If they don’t live with you, arrange for a neighbor to check in on them. If you're expecting a severe weather event, consider having your relative stay with you if feasible. If not, call them daily. If you have an infant or young children, be sure you have enough formula, diapers, medication, and other supplies on hand to weather an outage lasting several days or more.
Keeping four-legged family members safe
For families with pets, having a plan in place for a prolonged outage or an emergency will help reduce worry and stress, especially if you need to make a decision during an emergency.
- Bring pets indoors at the first sign of a storm or other emergency. Pets can become disoriented and frightened during severe weather and may wander off during an emergency.
- Microchip your pet and ensure the contact information is up to date.
- Store pet medical records on a USB drive or in an easy-to-remember location.
- Create an emergency kit for pets (include shelf-safe food, bottled water, medications, and other supplies).
At Butte Electric, we care about your safety. Planning for an emergency situation today can give you more confidence to deal with severe weather and potential outages in the future.