The National Weather Service has declared this week as Lightning Safety Awareness Week because lightning strikes peak in the summer season. We spoke to Ameren Spokesperson Brian Bretsch about how to prepare for potential power outages that may come with severe weather.
“Now is a good time to start thinking about gathering up a storm kit,” Bretsch said. “A storm kit can include such items as a flashlight, fresh batteries, a battery-powered radio, and emergency telephone numbers. It’s always good to have some bottled water, paper plates, and plastic utensils. Even so far as to have a battery powered or wind-up alarm clock. Bedding, if you would happen to have to stay downstairs overnight, a sleeping bag. Last thing that’s important to also note is to have identification and copies of important family documents.
“Before a storm hits, it’s always good to go to your refrigerator and turn it to the coldest setting and leave that refrigerator door closed. In the event of an outage, by having that temperature set at the coldest setting and leaving the door closed your food will stay fresher a lot longer.
“Another good tip is to charge your cell phone 24 hours in advance of bad weather to make sure it’s fully charged. You may also want to put surge protectors on any sort of sensitive electronics.”
Bretsch said you can keep up with weather alerts and the status of outages by following Ameren Illinois on Twitter.