Preparing for power outages

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“If you’re in the city of Utica, most likely the likelihood of you having a power outage for more than 24 hours is pretty slim. But like last year we had more than three feet of snow in one day. So I’m sure some people were without power,” said Utica chief fire marshal, Raymond Centolella. “But when you start getting into the outskirts of other areas and commonly they could be without for two, three four five days.”

Which is why it’s always good to be prepared. The first step, making sure you have a proper light source to get around at home.

“A flashlight, and or a lantern. Things you gotta be concerned about is what’s your budget and how long you want them to last. So it might not be a bad idea to have a primary and a secondary flashlight,” Centolella said.

And inevitably whenever there’s a power outage people bring out candles, but Centolella says that should be your last option.

“No matter what, even if it’s recreational, you never want to leave that candle unattended, especially if you have animals and children,” he said.

For situations when the power is out longer than a couple hours, people often turn to generators for help. But Centolella says there are safety precautions that need to be taken before those are used. 

“I suggest if a generator is one of your options, you get a licensed professional who is familiar with the operation of that to install it. And never ever operate a generator in your house,” he said.

And because it’s so cold out, when the power goes out that can be a huge issue for keeping warm inside.

“Heat source is a very big concern, because most heat sources need some type of electricity to function. Blankets are always a good thing, I cannot stress that enough,” Centolellasaid. “And then a concern you should have is who are you trying to protect? You have young children, you have elderly people. How susceptible you are to cold and how is it going to affect you?”

Because each person is different, Centolella says it’s important to prepare for yourself and others in your household before the emergency happens. 

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