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Power-outage tips

BGE customers should call 877-778-2222 immediately to report your location.

Turn off or unplug sensitive electronic equipment and appliances to avoid damage from surges when power return.

Do not use candles as lighting.

Leave one light turned on so you'll know when the power is restored.

Connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on a portable generator. Do not connect a portable generator to a home's electrical system.

Never use a generator, grill or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.

Avoid fallen or low-hanging wires or anything they contact. Be especially cautious near metal fences.

Be mindful of food spoilage:

If it looks like the power outage will continue beyond a day, prepare a cooler.

Perishable foods without refrigeration (and from the freezer) that have a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit and above for two hours should be discarded; this includes meats, milk, yogurt, eggs, mayonnaise and cream dressings, pastas and deserts. If you are unsure about temperature, as a rule an unopened, a well-functioning freezer half full will keep foods safely for up to 24 hours. A fully stocked freezer, unopened, can keep foods safely for 48 hours.

It is OK to refreeze foods if the item still contains ice crystals and feels cold and hard to the touch.

Food items that can be kept for a limited time without refrigeration include: hard process cheeses; butter and margarine; opened canned fruits and fruit juices; peanut butter, jellies, jams; mustard and vinegar-based dressings; bread; and herbs, spices and raw vegetables.

When discarding spoiled foods, place them in double plastic bags closed with ties. Place in animal-proof trash cans.

Sources: Baltimore Gas & Electric, Baltimore City Health Department and the Red Cross

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