No time is a good one for a natural disaster to strike. Emergencies don’t always announce themselves first and are often unexpected, leaving many of the victims in their wake stunned and without some of the most basic resources.
This September, during National Preparedness Month, is an ideal time to make sure you and your family are prepared for emergency situations. Louisville Gas and Electric Company (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities Company (KU) have crews and employees behind the scenes working around the clock to meet the needs of their customers and respond to emergencies. To help area residents prepare in advance, the utilities offer the following tips:
1. Make a plan.
Whether it’s at home or work, develop an emergency plan involving each person at your home or work location so you’ll know how and where to meet, how you will contact each other and what to do in different situations.
2. Stock up on emergency items.
Make sure you gather enough essentials for at least 72 hours and include items such as necessary medicines, water, nonperishable food, a manual can opener, crank-powered flashlight, first aid items, spare clothing, phone chargers, a battery-operated radio and extra batteries.
3. Make a kit now—before an emergency.
Store your stock-piled emergency supplies in one location, preferably in air-tight storage. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them. Make sure each member of the household or work location knows where the emergency preparedness kit will be stored.
4. Take your emergency planning on the go.
Whether short- or long-distance traveling, it’s always a good idea to make a similar emergency preparedness kit for your vehicle in case you may become stranded. Include items like jumper cables, flashlights, extra batteries, first aid items, necessary medicines, nonperishable food, water, battery-operated radio, cell phone chargers, ice scraper, spare clothing, flares and blankets.
5. Keep informed.
When power outages occur, LG&E and KU provide near real-time outage information through the utilities’ online outage map to help customers make critical decisions. The map is mobile friendly for customers on the go, and provides critical information including estimated restoration times, weather radar overlay and zooming capabilities to street level.
Customers can also sign up for outage texting to report an outage to 4LGEKU (454358) and to request status updates from their mobile device. After customers text OUTAGE and the location of the outage being reported has been confirmed, customers can text STATUS at any time to receive information known about the outage. Once power is back on, the customer will receive a text confirming service has been restored.
For more ideas, LG&E and KU provide an extensive online library of information about electric and natural gas safety, the restoration process and general tips about what to do during an outage.
Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Preparedness Month is an annual campaign raising awareness about the need to be ready when a disaster occurs.