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Power outages: Tips to stay safe and stay warm

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If a winter storm causes your power to go out, whether it be for a few hours or a few days, there are important tips to help you better weather the outage and stay safe, especially in the case of extended outages.

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  • Only use flashlights for emergency lighting, candles can cause fires.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.For more information about food safety visit our food page.
  • Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Never use your oven as a source of heat. If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location (the home of a relative or friend, or a public facility) that has heat to keep warm.
  • Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power “surge” that can damage computers and other devices. Consider adding surge protectors.
  • If you are considering purchasing a generator for your home, consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing.
  • Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home's electrical system. For more information about generators visit:

You can also prepare well before a winter storm strikes, which will help you better weather any power outage. Here's how:

  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Make sure you have alternative charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power.For more information visit: Get Tech Ready
  • Charge cell phones and any battery powered devices.
  • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to operate it.
  • Purchase ice or freeze water-filled plastic containers to help keep food cold during a temporary power outage.
  • Keep your car’s gas tank full-gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.If you use your car to re-charge devices, do NOT keep the car running in a garage, partially enclosed space, or close to a home, this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by visiting your state’s or local website so you can locate the closest cooling and warming shelters.
  • If you rely on anything that is battery-operated or power dependent like a medical device determine a back-up plan.For more planning information tips visit: Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs

Meteorologist/Staff Writer

Broadcast meteorologist for 15 years (Marquette, Michigan; Burlington, VT; Albany, NY; South Jersey). NBC40 Chief meteorologist from December 2003 through December 2014. Press meteorologist since January 2015

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Here is Your South Jersey Forecast

WEDNESDAY► Mainly cloudy with a few patches of drizzle and fog, otherwise drier.  Lighter winds and less cool with highs in the low to mid 60s.  North winds around 10mph.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT► Mostly cloudy with some patchy fog redeveloping. Lows in the mid 50s with winds becoming light and variable.

THURSDAY► Some patchy morning fog, then becoming partly sunny and milder, with highs in the low 70s on the mainland, 60-65 along the shore.  Southeast to south winds around 10mph.  A thundershower is possible Thursday night.

FRIDAY► A few morning clouds or patchy fog, then partly sunny as the warm-up continues, but remaining cooler along the shore.  Highs in the low 80s in the Pinelands, closer to 70 on the islands.  South winds around 15mph.

SATURDAY► Partly sunny and warm, likely the warmest day of the forecast, with highs in the low to mid 80s inland, low to mid 70s along the shore.  Winds from the southwest around 10-15mph.

SUNDAY► A back door front means a cooler and likely cloudier day compared to Saturday.  Mostly cloudy but remaining mostly dry with some breaks of sun.  Highs only in the mid 60s on the mainland, possibly mid to upper 50s along the shore.

MONDAY► Partly sunny, breezy, and warm with highs in the mid to upper 70s on the mainland, closer to 70 at the shore, with some late day or overnight scattered thunderstorms.  Brisk south to southwest winds around 10-20mph.

TUESDAY► Becoming partly sunny.  Breezy and drier with highs in the low 70s.