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Prepare for Winter Weather

Winter weather brings cooler temperatures and sometimes snow and ice that can knock power out. Stay safe in the event of a storm and follow these tips to prepare for an outage.

Before the Storm

  • Create a Disaster Kit.
  • If your water is pumped electrically, fill your bathtub and spare containers with water in case power goes off.
  • Turn your refrigerator to its coldest setting. If the power goes out, this will keep food fresh longer. If your freezer is relatively empty, fill used plastic soda bottles or other plastic containers with water and put them in the freezer. During an extended outage, transfer some of the containers to your refrigerator.
  • Individual households may receive special attention if loss of electricity affects life-support systems or poses immediate danger. If you or a family member depends on life support, inform your co-op before a power outage happens.

If There Is An Outage

  • Report outages and downed wires to Jackson EMC.
  • Treat all downed power lines as dangerous. Always assume fallen power lines are energized and stay at least 10 feet away from lines and any nearby objects they may be touching. Never attempt to move power lines. Never touch a person or object that is in contact with a downed line; call 911.
  • WARNING: If you need to use a generator to energize your refrigerator or other necessary electric device, plug directly into a generator and not into your house so you don’t feed electricity back on the line, unintentionally putting linemen at risk and causing a cascading outage once power is restored.

Inside the House

  • Unplug everything. As electricity is restored, it may create power surges that can destroy electronics. Leave one light switched on so you know when power has returned.
  • Don’t use candles. Flashlights produce more light and won’t burn your house down. Bring solar landscape lights inside for extra light. Don’t forget to put them out for recharging during the day.
  • Keep the fridge closed. The less you open fridge and freezer doors, the longer your food will stay cold. Put an appliance thermometer in the fridge and freezer. (The fridge will keep food properly cold for four hours if unopened. A full freezer will hold temperature for 48 hours; 24 hours if it is half full and the door remains closed.)

At the Office

  • Unplug motor-driven appliances and sensitive electronic equipment such as computers, printers and copiers in order to avoid an electrical overload when power returns.
  • Make sure heat-producing equipment has been switched off or unplugged before you leave the building. If such equipment comes back on when power is restored and employees are out of the building, it could cause a fire.

Listen to local radio stations or check your Jackson EMC mobile app for status reports about affected areas and power restoration activities. outage.jacksonemc.com 1-800-245-4044 mobile.jacksonemc.com