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How to prepare your home for a power outage

Arctic air continues to slowly ooze into our area.

TYLER, Texas — Weather in Texas can be unpredictable and power outages can be caused by many circumstances. It takes only a quarter to a half-inch of snow buildup on lines or trees to cause electricity to go out.

While it’s not possible to plan for every situation that could happen, there are things people can do to stay comfortable during a power outage.

When the lights go out, the last thing someone wants to have to do is look for things. To help with the issue, people can make an emergency kit with items like flashlights, batteries, first aid supplies, a weather radio, portable phone chargers, etc.

People should also stock up on nonperishable food and water. It's recommended to have one gallon of water per person per day, but it's a good idea to have extra for cooking, hygiene, and pets.

According to the American Red Cross, an unopened refrigerator can store food for up to four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours and a half-full one will stay frozen for 24 hours. 

When there's a power outage, it can be handy to have a food thermometer to check what's safe to eat. Any food that's been exposed to 40-degree temperatures for two hours or longer should be thrown away.

Additionally, if someone has a generator remember to never use it inside and to keep it away from windows.

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