5 tips to take if power goes out

By Sara Story - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Power lines are the lifeline for electricity to follow to your home. But, ice and winds could knock them down, leaving you in the dark. So be prepared.

"The biggest mistake is simply using a propane appliance that is designed for outdoor use for indoor application," explained Neal Tesseyman, Corporate Vice President for Mallory's Propane.

Tesseyman says the first safety step is to not bring those outdoor propane heaters inside for warmth.

"They will bring those inside or they will bring a fish cooker inside," said Tesseyman. "These are designed to vent into the atmosphere."

If you are cold, there are space heaters that run on propane, not electricity, which takes us to tip two.

"Make sure there is nothing close to that space heater or that fire place that is combustible," advised Tammy Prater, with the Smith County Red Cross.

"Be sure that you are using a metal flex line," said Tesseyman. "If you see any kind of sooting or ashes building up anywhere than you definitely have a problem."

Prater added another piece of advice: Unplug all electronics if power goes out.

"When the power does become re-instated, there may be jump starts where it comes on and goes off it come one," she said. "Those can often create power surges, but, more importantly, there could be situations where it causes a short and a fire situation."

She says the last instruction is to prepare your home ahead of time. Stock up on flashlights, batteries, a radio, and one other thing.

"Cell phones. Make sure that you have those charged," said Prater. "They don't work when the battery is down."

All tools to help you endure this Arctic blast. Another tip from the Red Cross is to prepare your car. Keep a disaster kit in your vehicle and fill the tank with gas. If the power goes out, many gas pumps may not work.

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