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Power Outage Preparedness

June 19, 2012, 4:52 PM by Shawn Neisteadt

Power Outage Preparedness

More than 70,000 Minnesotans spent time without electricity Tuesday. A smaller power outage was reported after strong winds hit Watertown.  Sweltering heat can also cause power issues and there are some things you should know just in case you're left in the dark this summer.

If you do lose power, you don't want to open your refrigerator or freezer.  If the power comes back within two hours, all of the food should be safe.

While the power is out, turn off all unnecessary electronics.  That will help avoid a power surge when the electricity returns.

Remember that stop lights may not function properly in a power outage.  Drivers should consider dark lights as a four-way stop.  You'll always want to be careful of other drivers in this situation as well.

Also, don't call 911 to report an outage unless power lines are down.  You may want to call your power company though because sometimes a report can help them pinpoint the issue.

And finally, experts say you should remain patient.  Growing anxious won't turn the power on any quicker.

Before power goes out, the Centers for Disease Control suggests having an emergency kit prepared.  The pack should include water, dried and canned food, and emergency supplies to last at least three days.

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