Wind, ice and other weather conditions can cause power outages, leaving people without power for hours and sometimes even days.
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security says people should take the time before the storm for potential power outages. Know the number for your electric utility's outage reporting phone number and add it to your contact list.
People can also prepare by identifying the most insulated and interior room available. Gather warm blankets, sleeping bags and layers to help family members stay warm. Rooms can be further insulated with blankets or other barrier materials over windows.
If your power goes out, wood-burning and gas-powered fireplaces may still be options. Only use these after they have been properly inspected and are in working order. Don’t use a cook stove, oven, grill, etc. as a heating source.
Make sure you have items in an emergency kit for your home and car. Check to see if everything is up to date. Kits should include:
Gather medications and other needed items and know how to determine if it is safe to travel. Know where to go if the power goes out, identify a family member or friend’s house or nearby shelter.
If the power goes out, the DHS says to notify the utility company right away. Gather everyone in the prepared insulated room and turn off and unplug electronic devices to avoid a power surge.
Check travel conditions before determining if evacuation is necessary. If you leave the home, take medications and other must-have items along with extra clothing. The department suggests taking the time to check on neighbors, especially those with medical conditions.