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How to weather an electrical power outage

People wade through flood water in Broad Channel

People wade through flood water in Broad Channel as Hurricane Sandy begins to affect the area on Monday in Queens. The storm has knocked out power for about 47,000 New Yorkers.

By 6 p.m. Monday, about 47,000 New Yorkers had lost power because of Hurricane Sandy. Here are tips to help you weather an extended electrical outage:

- Form a plan. Gather important phone numbers, organize an evacuation route and identify a meeting place in case you lose communication with others.

- Prepare kit. Use a bucket, duffel or other storage item and fill it with three days’ worth of non-perishable food items and water,disposable utensils, matches, lighters, candles and holders (tin foil and aluminum cans can be used to make candlestick holders), flashlights, batteries, a radio, first aid kit, emergency money, personal hygiene items, medications and important documents.

- Also put together extra blankets, firewood, water-repellant tarps, a fire extinguisher, ice in a cooler, hand-tools, extension cords and a battery-operated space heater if possible.

- Turn off electrical appliances to prevent damage to electrical items. Avoid appliances until power is restored.

- Do not plug electric generators directly into an electrical system. Electricity could flow backwards into power lines causing danger. Plug necessary appliances directly into the generator.

- Be sure to use the properly rated extension chords for your generator, and make sure it is properly vented for carbon monoxide.

- Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Do not use a generator, power washer, camping stove, or grill inside your home, garage, porch, or any other area with limited ventilation.

- Do not turn on a gas stove for heat.

- Leave a light on so you can see when power is restored.

- Stay away from fallen wires, flooded areas and debris as though they could have electricity running through them.

- Get familiar with your central electrical panel in case you have to reset circuit breakers after a power outage.

- Inspect around your electricity meter for possible damage from an outage. Call your utility provider if necessary.

- Throw away perishable foods if power is out for longer than two hours and the temperature is above 40 degrees.

- Dress accordingly for the weather.

- Avoid unnecessary travel.

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