Whether a power outage is caused by lightning, ice, wind, or another weather or electrical event, the situation can be extremely inconvenient and even dangerous, especially when it lasts more than a few minutes.

Dealing with a power outage for an extended period of time can be really frightening, but if your family is prepared to handle this situation, you can help keep everyone safe.

Report the Outage: Homeowners often don’t report power outages because they assume their neighbors already have. But it’s important to let your power company know so they can track exactly where the outages are occurring and get power back up as soon as possible. They can also help you get the resources you need if you require help and answer questions you might have.

Food and Water: As a general rule, families should have enough supplies to last them at least three days in the event of an emergency, included an extended power outage. You’ll want at least one gallon of water per person per day and lots of canned food and other non-perishable items.

Light Sources: Having plenty of extra light sources on hand during a power outage can be a life saver! Cheap candles and LED flashlights with extra batteries are good choices.

Disaster Kits: In addition to food, water, and light sources, your disaster kit should contain several other important items. Make sure you have a supply of any medications your family members take, pet food, first aid supplies, flares, and blankets.

Disconnect Appliances and Electronics: Your appliances and other electronics can be damaged by power surges during an outage, so be sure to disconnect them when it’s safe to do so.

Keep at Least Half a Tank of Gas in Your Car: If a power outage was caused by a storm that results in you having to evacuate your home, it’s critical to have gas in your so you can get away as quickly as possible. Gas stations can have massive wait lines during these events