Like any region of the United States, Omaha can experience power outages due to severe storms or system overload. It’s better to assume this can happen at any time than to be caught unprepared when the power goes out.

Handling the heat

Air conditioner use is one cause for widespread power outages on hot summer days. Heat can cause serious health issues for anyone, but it’s especially dangerous for babies, young children, the elderly and the infirm. Here are tips for dealing with the heat when the power goes out:

  • Keep well hydrated.
  • Open windows to promote airflow.
  • Take cool showers.
  • If you have ice available, wrap it in a cloth and use that on pulse points occasionally for instant relief from the heat.
  • Heat stroke is an emergency. If a family member develops dry, hot skin; dizziness; fast heartbeat/pulse; confusion; headache and/or a high temperature, seek immediate medical help.

Handling the cold

In winter, temperatures in a home may fall rapidly. If your home is poorly insulated and it’s bitterly cold outside, you may need to seek shelter elsewhere. Otherwise, follow these precautions:

  • Never run a generator or fuel-powered heater in a confined space, including your garage. Doing so can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, which can sneak up so quickly that you may not be able to save yourself.
  • Wear several layers of clothing to trap body heat.
  • Do not use your gas oven for heating.

Candle safety

Flashlights are a safer choice for emergency lighting. If you must use candles, keep them on a level surface and away from any combustible items.

Keeping food safe

  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed.
  • After four hours without power, place refrigerated food in a cooler with ice. Leave the frozen food in the freezer — it will be fine for 24 to 48 hours. However, some foods should not be refrozen.

For more information about things to consider when the power goes out, or other home safety and comfort issues, please contact the team at Fred’s Heating and Air. We’ve been proudly serving the Omaha area for 25 years.