A storm with wet heavy snow, like today’s storm, often wreaks havoc on utility lines. As the snow weighs heavy, lines can break and cause power outages. As of 2 p.m., over 600 people in Lancaster County are reportedly without power, according to PPL Electric Utilities. At 3 p.m. PPL reports that there are currently 545 outages and an additional 497 PPL customers have been restored. PPL has been in a storm emergency since 9:30 a.m.
Before you loose power:
Have a plan! Being prepared is always the best way to make through almost any emergency. Have a flashlight handy with extra batteries. Be sure to charge your cell phone, in case land lines go down. Stock up on bottled water. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends you store three gallons a day per person for at least a three day supply. This water can be used not just for drinking but also sanitation needs.
During an outage:
Unplug any non essential appliances. By unplugging computers and televisions, this prevents a power surge once the power is restored. Keep the freezer and refrigerator closed. This will keep the cold inside and the food good longer. On average food in the freezer is good for two to four days. Be careful using alternative heat and cooking. Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur if you cook with camp stoves or grills inside. If you can access the internet on your cell phone, report your outage at https://www.pplelectric.com/my-account/outage-center/outage-map.aspx.
After an outage:
Bring your systems online one by one. Do not plug everything in at once or you risk overloading the system. Check the food in your fridge as you can. If it smells or looks bad at all, err on the side of caution and throw it away.
FEMA – www.ready.gov
PPL – www.pplelectric.com
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