Storm Checklist

If your lights go off during a storm, be prepared for the power outage. Assemble supplies to have on hand rather than rushing around when the storm is coming and waiting in long lines for milk or bread. Rotate your supplies to keep them fresh and use the following checklist to prepare for power outages:

Have Plenty of Food

  • Keep a 3- to 5-day supply of drinking water in plastic bottles. Plan on at least 1 gallon of water per person, per day.

  • Store a manual can opener with enough nonperishable foods for 3 to 5 days. Canned meats, tuna fish and peanut butter are good foods to store. Don’t forget pet foods!

  • Conserve water by using paper plates and plastic utensils.

  • Have a camp stove or grill for outdoor cooking.

Stay In Touch

  • Have a portable, battery-powered radio and alarm clock.

  • Have one non-portable phone that will work even if power is interrupted.

  • Plan where to meet and how to communicate with family members if separated.

  • Keep essential family member contact information near your phone, in your wallet, and in your glove compartment.

Keep Things Going

  • Keep plenty of gas in your car.

  • Keep extra batteries, matches, propane, charcoal and firewood.

Stay Happy, Healthy and Warm

  • Coordinate with neighbors for care of the elderly and disabled living alone.

  • Maintain a supply of prescriptions, nonprescription drugs, vitamins and special dietary foods.

  • Playing cards, books, drawing and writing supplies, and board games help pass the time. If you have a video camera and tapes, your family can make a storm documentary.

  • Keep sanitary and personal hygiene supplies replenished. Pre-moistened cleansing towelettes are useful and help conserve water.

  • Use plastic trash bags and ties for garbage.

  • Put first-aid kits in your home and car.

  • Make sure you have cold weather clothing, foul weather gear, blankets and sleeping bags.

  • Consider purchasing alternative UL-approved heating devices. For example, a fireplace insert or wood stove will keep the heat in your home instead of up the chimney.

  • Use flashlights and other battery-operated lighting instead of candles.

  • Keep fire extinguishers fully charged.

  • Fill your bathtub with water for bathroom use before the storm (if you have a well).

Check to see current weather conditions.

Be Ready With an Emergency Kit. 

  • Assemble an emergency kit including candles, matches, firewood, battery-operated radio and clock, extra blankets, sleeping bags, containers for storing water, portable fire extinguisher, easily-prepared foods, canned goods and manual can opener.

  • Many cordless phones require electricity and may not work during an outage.  Have a battery back-up telephone.  Keep cell phones charged.

Be Prepared for the Storm

When the power is out: 

  • Turn off all electrical equipment, including your water heater, electric furnace or heaters, stove, washer and dryer, stereo and TV, to help prevent overloading the system when power is restored. Major appliances can be turned off at the breaker box.

  • Keep on a porch light and one light inside so you and crews will know when service is restored.

  • If you see any downed utility lines, stay far back and call MEC at (800) 752-5935.  Keep children and pets away, too. A downed line doesn't have to spark to be dangerous. A wire can be dangerous even if you're not touching it; water, metal, tree branches, concrete or other materials touching the wire can conduct electricity from a wire to you.

For information during major storm outages, follow Midstate Electric Cooperative on Facebook or @midstatecoop on Twitter via a mobile device.  You can also view our Live Outage map. 

If you own a portable generator, know how to operate it safely.  Click here for information on generator safety. 

In Home Life Support

MEC strongly recommends having a backup power source and an emergency plan for extended outages for those on medical support devices.

When all is back to normal, restock your three-day emergency supply kit and update your emergency communications plan so family members know how to contact each other and where to meet.