Are You Ready If The Lights Go Out?

JONESBORO (KAIT) Hopefully you won't have a power outage in this winter weather but you need to be prepared.

When the power goes out in the winter you gotta kick in that survival mode.

You need to be able to stay warm and make sure you have edible food and drinking water.

When the power goes out in the winter you gotta kick in that survival mode.

Some simple steps can keep you warm, fed and safe.

A heavy ice storm can easily bring down power lines. No power means most things in your home stop working.

You need to be prepared **before** the lights go out.

First off, get a few things together.

Flashlights, a battery powered radio, candles, matches, bottled water and non perishable food.

Also don't forget extra batteries and of course blankets and extra warm clothing.

Now lets talk heat.

Eric Simmons, Deputy Fire Marshal, JFD "You can use your fire places as usual, you can also use fuel burning space heaters and different things like that you can use in your home. "

Make sure you have plenty of firewood, or artificial fire logs. No charcoal fires inside.

Simmons, "No I wouldn't do that, it lets off poisonous gases in your home. Just use your regular wood dry wood."

Kerosene and propane heaters are ok. Just make sure you have some ventilation and...

Simmons, "You probably want to keep a carbon monoxide detector they're good. A battery operated carbon monoxide detector because those fuels burn and you want to make sure that your home is safe."

Other than ventilation, keep the windows shut, close off as many drafts as possible and try to avoid opening the refrigerator and freezer as much as possible.

Food should keep in a full freezer for about 2 days, a full fridge for about six hours. Discard anything that gets above 41 degrees.

If you decide to go out and get yourself a portable generator. Here are some things you need to know and some accessories you must have.

First thing though, keep the generator outside, no garage or carport use, it will produce carbon monoxide.

Kevin Tharp, Tool Central, "For the average home probably a 55 hundred watt will run most all your necessity items."

If you don't have an electrician wire the generator into your home system.

On a Temporary basis you need to plug in only a few things.

Tharp, "Use a  good heavy cord to run from the generator into the house and get you a good fused or breaker power strip and plug these components into it."

Also make sure you have a ground fault interrupter hooked into the cord.