In Alabama, we can experience a variety of weather catastrophes: ice storms, tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, tropical storms, floods, etc. All of these can cause extended power outages. When outages do occur, SMEC responds immediately and works as quickly as possible to restore service.
Before an outage occurs prepare your home and family. Having a plan and emergency supplies on hand can help you and your family better weather the storm.
Prepare a Disaster Supply Kit
A disaster supply kit can be useful if you become confined to your home, are without power for an extended time or must evacuate as a result of severe weather. Keep the kit updated and readily accessible for safety, comfort, and convenience. This is especially important if you have a baby, small children or pets in the home. All household members should know where the supply kit is located.
Replace food, water, medical supplies and batteries as needed. Pack the essential items in an easy to carry container. The following information offers a general supply list and tips.
Three gallons of water per person minimum stored in a food-grade plastic container
Additional water for sanitation
Food and non-perishable items
First Aid Kit - one for your home and one for each car
Family Medical Needs
Contact lenses and supplies
Heart and high blood pressure medication
Clothing & Bedding
Hat and gloves
Sturdy shoes or work boots
Blankets and/or sleeping bags
One complete change of clothing and footwear per person
Formula (ready-made or include bottled water to make)
Sterilized bottle drop-ins bags
Powdered milk for older babies
Three-day supply of non-perishable food
Leash, harness or carrier
Records of vaccinations
Non-tip food and water containers
Important Family Documents
Copy of will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds
Copy of passports, social security cards, immunization records
Record of credit card accounts numbers and companies
Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
Record of bank account numbers
Inventory of valuable household goods
Important telephone numbers
Entertainment for Children
Games and Books
How to Prepare in Advance for Severe Weather
- Call your local emergency management office if you or anyone you know has special needs in case of evacuation.
- Stock up on non-perishable food, medicine, baby supplies and pet food.
- Purchase bottled water. The American Red Cross recommends one gallon of water per person per day.
- Check emergency equipment (flashlights, battery-operated radios, emergency generators, etc.) and buy extra batteries.
- Monitor radio, TV or NOAA Weather Radio for official weather bulletins.
- Keep extra cash on hand since an extended outage may prevent withdrawals from automatic teller machines or banks.
- Contact vet or kennel to arrange for safe sheltering for your pet if you must evacuate. Public shelters do not accept pets.
- Fill vehicles with gas
- Designate a friend or relative outside your town or area as a contact in the event your family is separated or has to evacuate. Agree upon a place where family members will meet if separated.
- Evacuate your pet as well. Make sure you have pet supplies and that your pets are wearing collars with securely fastened identification tags.
Electrical Related Tips
- If someone in your home is dependent on electric-powered, life sustaining medical equipment, review your “family” emergency plan for back-up power or make arrangements to relocate.
- Before lowering a TV antenna or satellite dish, make sure to turn off and unplug the TV and avoid power lines.
- Turn refrigerators and freezers to the coldest settings ahead of time to keep food fresh in case of a power outage.
- Turn off and unplug any unnecessary electrical equipment, including sensitive electronics.
These tips do not cover everything. Learn all you can about storm preparedness and post-storm safety, in order to survive any storm safely with minimal damage.