By Catherine Blinder
Winter is just around the corner, and the official storm season is in effect through November. Here in Connecticut, we know how devastating early winter storms can be, and the memory of power outages, lost cell service and missed work days are still fresh in our memories. But we have the chance to be more prepared this year, and hopefully, being smarter will make it easier to survive the inevitable New England weather!
Medications and Medical Supplies:
For those dependent on medical devices that need power or medications that need to be refrigerated, being prepared truly can be the difference between life and death. In order to maintain their full effectiveness, certain medications, such as insulin, must be kept at the proper temperature, and if they are exposed to water, heat, humidity or other factors, they can be considered unsafe.This applies to both prescription and non-prescription medications; even tablets or capsules that have been exposed to water or heat can lose their efficiency. Talk to your pharmacist about what is safe to take and what you might need to replace. If you are dependent on electricity for your medical equipment, please plan ahead. Make sure you have plenty of batteries, diabetic supplies, oxygen, etc. If these are delivered to you and you are unable to stay in your home during a storm, make sure to notify suppliers of your temporary location so there is no lapse in service or delivery.
Losing a refrigerator and freezer full of food is a difficult challenge, especially if you have a family to feed. Most refrigerators will keep their contents cold for about four hours, if unopened. If you know a storm is coming, buy bags or blocks of ice and either place in the refrigerator or fill coolers with ice and the most important contents from your refrigerator.
Freezers, if full and unopened, will keep food frozen for about 48 hours.