Losing power for a long period of time is never any fun, but it can also pose dangerous risks, especially if you’re not prepared. As we continue sharing tips around National Preparedness Month, read below for some practical ways to protect your family in the case of a prolonged outage.

Prepping before an outage

The thought of losing power likely only occurs during severe weather, but damages to powerlines or transformers can happen any time and sometimes last for days. The best way to be prepared for an outage is to plan ahead by having an emergency preparedness kit and extra supplies on hand. This kit should include, but is not limited to:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Prescription medications
  • Basic toiletries
  • Pet food (if applicable)
  • Extra batteries
  • First-aid supplies
  • External charges (phones and other electronics)
  • Generators

During an outage

How long it takes to restore power depends on the extent of the storm (or other event’s) damage, the number of outages and when it’s safe for utility personnel to get to damaged areas. During an outage, it’s important to remember that power may still be affecting areas or objects around the home. Keep these tips in mind when going through an outage:

  • Never touch a downed power line as they can still be energized be sure to stay out of flooded basements as the water may still be charged.
  • When leaving the home, stay away from a downed power line when driving and contact DTE if you see a downed wire.
  • If you’re using a standby generator while at home, be sure to take safety precautions and follow all operating instructions thoroughly.

After an outage

After a long power outage, you’ll likely want to start getting things back in order and returning to your normal life. Be sure you’re still being safe as you do:

  • If you plan to clean up outdoors after a storm, don’t use electronic equipment in wet conditions or try to use electronic appliances that have been submerged or damaged by flooding.
  • Be sure electricity and gas are turned off when entering a storm-damaged building and that you let water recede in the home or workplace before entering.

For more information on your power and how to stay safe, check out our other ‘Your Power’ blogs.

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