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A power outage is not just inconvenient, but it could put your safety at risk. News4's Liz Crenshaw advises on what to do before and after you're left in the dark:
Buying a Generator
Generators typically cost from $400 and up to $10,000. Basic generators will keep your refrigerator and other kitchen appliances powered. Premium models will be able to generate your entire home, and an electrician will have to install it. If you plan on using a portable generator, you must use a heavy-duty, outdoor-rated extension cord to feed the electrical equipment you want to operate. An overloaded power cord can potentially start a fire.
Staying Safe and Connected
If someone in the house uses electrically powered life-support equipment or medical equipment, be sure to ask your physician about emergency battery backup systems.
Food Safety During Power Outages
The USDA says refrigerated foods should be safe as long as the power is not out more than a few hours and the doors have been closed. However potentially hazardous foods should be discarded if they warm up above 40 degrees.
Throw out any meat, poultry or seafood products if the power has been out for more than a few hours.
When it comes to frozen foods, USDA says an unopened freezer should keep food safe for two days. Remember, frozen foods that have begun to defrost are still safe if they have ice crystals or are still cold.