WEATHER ALERT: Electric utilities offer tips for storm preparation

The Edison Electric Institute, the association of U.S. shareholder-owned electric companies, offered the following tips for local residents ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Sandy and the anticipated related power outages:

If a severe storm is approaching:
Visit your local electric company’s Web site for the latest updates and guidance on how to prepare for storms.
Create a written emergency preparedness and action plan for your family and/or business.
• Decide where to go if you're at home, school, work, outdoors, or in a car when a hurricane or tropical storm threatens. Update these plans every school year and as places of employment and residence change.
• Identify two places where you and your family members can meet if you are separated: one outside your home and another outside your neighborhood.
If you live in a hurricane evacuation zone:
• Make an evacuation plan if you live in an area vulnerable to storm surge or flooding.
• Identify the evacuation route you will use if you are told to evacuate.
• Research alternate routes, if possible.
• Have current paper (hard-copy) maps on hand. (Don't rely only on smartphones and mobile devices, as cellular networks may be down in your area during a storm.)
• Fill your gas tank before the storm. Power outages can shut down gas stations.
Have your emergency outage kit stocked and readily available.
• Obtain emergency supplies in advance of a storm.
• Test emergency equipment such as generators and flashlights.
• Include at least a 3-day supply of water (a gallon per person per day) and non-perishable food.
In advance of a severe storm, visit an ATM to ensure you have extra cash on hand, fill prescriptions, and bring in loose objects from outside.
If a severe storm does hit your area:
• Stay in a secure room and away from windows. Remain indoors.
• Monitor weather bulletins on a battery-powered radio.
• If your power goes out, report your outage immediately to your local electric company. Don’t rely on your neighbors to report your outage.
• Follow all directions and orders from local officials, and leave immediately if instructed to do so.