Most often, a power outage be over almost as quickly as it began, but some can last much longer — up to days or even weeks. Often caused by freezing rain, sleet storms or high winds, can damage power lines and equipment. A power outage can leave you without heating/air conditioning, lighting, hot water, or even running water. So, what can you do to prepare, what do you do during and what should you do after? Find out how you can prepare for a power outage.

How to prepare for a power outage:

If you find out a big storm is about to roll through, here are some ways to prepare your house for a potential outage:

-Create an emergency preparedness kit with enough supplies on hand to be self-sufficient for at least three days. Your kit should include water, food, medications, important paperwork, flashlights and more.

-Consider purchasing a generator to power any critical equipment during a power outage.

-Freeze containers of water and gel packs to help keep food cold if the power goes out.

-Move refrigerated items such as leftovers, milk and other foods to the freezer so they will stay colder longer.

-If you think the power will be out for an extended period of time, buy a block of dry ice to keep the fridge or freezer cold.

During an outage:

-Use flashlights in the dark, not candles.

-Turn off an unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment, including sensitive electronics.

-Turn off or disconnect any appliances (like stoves), equipment or electronics you were using when the power went out. When the power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment.

-Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed to maintain a cold temperature a full freezer will hold its temperature for 48 hours and a fridge will keep food safe for four hours.

After an outage:

-If electrical power lines are down, don’t touch them. Report any downed lines to your utility company.

-Throw out any unsafe food, particularly meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers that have been exposed to temperatures higher than 40 degree F for two hours or more.