MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - Power outages aren't all that uncommon, varying parts of Michigan have suffered lengthy power outages. It's important to know what to do when the power goes out.
If the power is out for less than four hours, then the food in the fridge and freezer should be safe. If the power is out for more than four hours, it's important to take precautionary measures.
A freezer that is half full will be able to keep food safe for up to 24 hours, while a full freezer can keep food at appropriate temperatures for at least 48 hours. Remember, do not open the freezer door unless you have to.
If you can pack your refrigerated items into a cooler filled with ice, and watch the temperatures. Food that is at a higher temperature than 40 degrees needs to be thrown out.
During a power outage water purification systems might not work. Before you drink, clean yourself, or cook with water make sure that it's been boiled, treated, or came from a bottle. If you do choose to use bottled water be certain that it came from somewhere safe, if you're unsure you should boil that water as well.
If you decide to boil water you are asked to bring it to boiling temperatures for at least one minute, that will kill most dangerous organisms.
During these cold winter months, if the power goes out it's important to recognize the causes of hypothermia.
Cold temperatures, of course is a major cause of hypothermia, as well as the most important to note. Other causes include being improperly dressed, not having appropriate shelter or heating, being wet, exhaustion, dehydration, not eating enough, and drinking alcohol.
If you suspect yourself or others to be suffering from hypothermia make sure to go to the hospital. You may offer or drink warm beverages, but do not rub or massage skin or use direct heat or hot water to warm yourself or others. People who suffer from severe hypothermia must be warmed carefully and have their temperatures monitored to avoid permanent damage.