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National Preparedness Month Promotes Getting Ahead of Storms


September is National Preparedness Month. MidAmerican Energy says fall is always a good time to prepare for winter storms and possible power outages.   

Ruth Comer at the MidAmerican Energy Company says too often people get so use to having electricity, when power outages occur they aren’t prepared with a plan.

“While having electricity is something that most of us take for granted, and we should because it is mostly always on, but we don’t really realize in a lot of cases how much we depend on it until it isn’t there. So that’s why it’s a good idea to have an outage safety kit and storage it in a place where it’s easy to find in the dark so that you have items that you need when suddenly you don’t have electricity in your house,” says Comer.

As winter is approaching Comer says it’s a good idea to check your supplies cabinet and stock up on important items.

“Some of things at a minimum we think people should have in their kit are flashlights have flashlights with extra batteries, a battery powered radio with extra batteries so you can keep up on weather updates and announcements, a three day supply of food and for every member of your household, including your pets. A lot of people don’t always seem to remember that pets need to eat and drink too and so please include them in any emergency planning that you do,” says Comer.

Comer says people should have a plan for every family member. She says families should consider different scenarios such as if the kids are at school or with a babysitter what they should do in an emergency.

Complete list of items your kit should contain:

•   Flashlights with extra batteries

•   Battery-powered radio with extra batteries

•   A three-day supply of nonperishable food and water for every member of the household, including pets

•   Manual can opener

•   Blankets and warm clothing

•   First aid supplies

•   Extra cash, in case ATMs are down

Keep your vehicle’s gas tank at least half-full at all times, since gas pumps may not work during a power outage. If you have an electric garage door opener, know how to operate the manual release lever so you can raise the door and get your vehicle out of the garage.