Ahead of an ice storm forecast for much of the Midwest, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security is advising Hoosiers to be prepared for power outages with food, water, clothing and a heat source.

Get ready by charging all cell phones, laptops and any other battery-operated accessories to ensure maximum battery life when without power, said the IDSH in a press release. Most cell phones can be used to receive important updates on weather and power outages.

Power Outage Plan

Hoosiers should take the time now to develop a plan for a potential power outage. IDSH says citizens should look up their electric utility’s outage reporting phone number and add it to their cell phone contact list.

Other ways to get ready include:

  • Identify the most insulated and interior room available and gather warm blankets, sleeping bags and layers to help family members stay warm.
  • Wood-burning and gas-powered fireplaces may still be options. Only use if they have been properly inspected and are in working order. DO NOT use a cook stove, oven, grill, etc., as a source to heat a home.
  • Rooms can be further insulated with blankets or other barrier materials over windows.
  • Ensure that items in preparedness kits, for the home and especially for cars, are up to date.
  • Gather medications and other needed items in case power goes out.
  • Know how to determine if it is safe to travel and know where to go should the power go out. Identify now a friend or family member’s house, or a nearby shelter.

Make a Kit

Hoosiers should also have essential items in the home in the event utilities are disrupted. Some supplies to gather ahead of time include:

  • Food and water for three days (include one gallon of water per person, per day)
  • Battery operated or hand crank all hazard radio
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries for radio and flashlight
  • Extra clothing, warm blankets, sleeping bags for insulation
  • Special items (baby formula, insulin, medications)

For more information, go to GetPrepared.in.gov.

Take Action

Should the power go out:

  • Notify the electric utility right away.
  • Gather everyone in the most insulated and interior room available.
  • Turn off and unplug most electronic devices to avoid a power surge. Leave one light on to know when the power has been restored.
  • Check travel conditions before determining if evacuation is necessary. If leaving the home, take medications and other must-need items, along with extra clothing to a friend or family member’s house, or a nearby shelter.
  • Consider taking the time to check on neighbors, especially those with medical conditions.
  • Monitor weather conditions and updates on a charged cell phone.

One source for monitoring weather conditions is National Weather Service: http://www.weather.gov/.

For more winter weather preparedness information, visit GetPrepared.in.gov.

Source: Indiana Department of Homeland Security 

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Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or rhatcher@greenfieldreporter.com.