As temperatures start to rise, we’re all reminded that summer weather is right around the corner. Central Texas Electric Cooperative strongly encourages our members to be prepared for summer weather. While CTEC can offer basic tips and advice, our members may have different needs based on their individual situations. Make a plan that will work for you and your family.
Prepare an Outage Kit
Prepare an outage kit to have on hand before any outages occur. A fully stocked outage kit will be crucial if extended outages occur. Here are some ideas of what a kit can include:
- Battery-powered radio
- Flashlights & fresh batteries
- Emergency supplies of water
- Non-perishable, easily-prepared foods
- Drinking water
- Manual, non-electric can & bottle openers
- Candles, matches/lighters
- Portable heater (gas or oil)
- Camping equipment
- Charger for cell phone or laptop
- Blankets & pillows
- Medications & personal hygiene products
- Non-cordless phone
- First-aid kit
- Pet supplies
- Fire extinguisher & smoke alarm
- Family & emergency contact list
- Hand sanitizer, baby wipes, and toilet paper.
- Books, deck of cards or games
Other Ways to be Prepared:
- Sign up for our SmartHub app, it is the best way to report outages and stay informed about the restoration process.
- If you have a telephone system that requires electricity to work, such as a cordless phone, plan to have a standard telephone or cellular phone ready as a backup. It is also a good practice to keep a charging bank in full power to charge cell phones or other devices if needed.
- When there is impending dangerous weather, fill your bathtub with water if your supply depends on electricity.
- Fill up your vehicles with gas in the event that you need to evacuate or relocate to another area; and if you use a portable generator, fill up fuel cans.
Ensure a Water Source
Ensuring a supply of clean drinking water for yourself and any pets is extremely important. By filling plastic containers with water and placing them in the freezer, you can use them to help keep food cold during a power outage as it thaws out to drink. You can also fill larger containers or tubs to have on hand for nondrinking purposes.
Have an Exit Plan
While it’s a good idea for everyone to have a list of safe places to go and a way to get there in the event of an outage, this planning is especially important for those with disabilities or who rely on life-support devices requiring electricity, such as respirators or ventilators. While CTEC encourages members with medical needs to make sure the co-op is aware of their situation, there is no guarantee that members with medical needs will have their power restored immediately, especially during emergency outage events. Those who rely on medical equipment need to be extra prepared.
Their emergency preparedness kit should include additional oxygen tanks, equipment batteries or other backup equipment, and if possible, a backup generator as an alternate power source.
- Get battery-operated fans.
- Stock up on cooling towels.
- Keep hydrated
- Soak your feet.
- Open windows
Watch for Signs of Heat-Related Illness
Dehydration is the state that occurs when you use or lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn’t have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. Your electrolytes are out of balance., which can lead to increasingly serious problems.
Symptoms of electrolyte imbalances include dizziness, fatigue, nausea (with or without vomiting), constipation, dry mouth, dry skin, muscle weakness, stiff or aching joints, confusion, delirium, rapid heart rate, twitching, blood pressure changes, seizures, and convulsions.
Heat cramps are painful, brief muscle cramps. Muscles may spasm or jerk involuntarily. Heat cramps can occur during exercise or work in a hot environment or begin a few hours following such activities.
Often accompanied by dehydration, heat exhaustion is a heat-related illness that can occur after you’ve been exposed to high temperatures.
Heat stroke is the most serious form of heat injury and is considered a medical emergency. Heat stroke results from prolonged exposure to high temperatures—usually in combination with dehydration—which leads to failure of the body’s temperature control system. The medical definition of heat stroke is a core body temperature greater than 105°F, with complications involving the central nervous system that occur after exposure to high temperatures. Other common symptoms include nausea, seizures, confusion, disorientation, and, sometimes, loss of consciousness or coma.
Get a Generator, if You Can
If possible, have a backup generator in case power does fail. This isn’t a purchase that can fit into every budget, but it can be extremely helpful in the rare event of extended outages. If you do use a generator, be sure to operate it safely and notify CTEC that you are using one. Members with standby electric generators should make sure they are properly installed by a licensed electrician in a well-ventilated area. Never run a generator indoors; doing so can lead to a dangerous and deadly buildup of carbon monoxide. Improperly installed generators pose a significant danger to members as well as crews working on power lines.