Utilities may be shut off after a hurricane to prevent further damage to the electric grid. This can leave residents without power, water, or other essential services for an extended period of time.

In some cases, utilities may not be restored for weeks or even months. During this time, it is important to have a plan in place to meet your basic needs.

A utilities shut off may be one of the most frustrating and inconvenient thing that can happen in the aftermath of a hurricane – no power, no water, and in some cases, no heat. It can be a real hassle for families who are already dealing with the stress of cleanup and repairs. But there are some things you can do to prepare for a utilities shut off, and minimize the inconvenience for your family.

First, You should have a first-aid kit and a plan for how to care for any medical needs.
Make sure you have refills on your prescriptions as the pharmacy may be closed.

Second, make sure you have an emergency supply of food and water on hand that will last for at least several days – at least three gallons per person, per day. If possible, fill up your bathtub and any other available containers before the storm hits.

Third, you should also have a plan for cooking food without power, either by using a camp stove or by grilling outdoors.

Fourth, have a plan stay cool if the weather is hot.

1. Drink lots and lots of water. Hydration is key when your body is trying to maintain homeostasis, or the regulated state (in this case, at a decent temperature). Sweating, though kind of unappealing sometimes, is your body’s way of cooling you down.
Contrary to popular belief, while iced water is your safest bet in cooling you down, things like pop or energy drinks will also help you cool down. Any liquid is better than no liquid.
Having said that, make sure you’re not drinking coffee, as it’s a diuretic and can have dehydrating effects.

2. Avoid the sun between 11am to 2pm. The sun is the hottest between 11am and 2pm, and sunburns are most likely to happen during that period. Limiting your exposure will limit your chances of overheating.

3. Dress appropriately. If you can’t get around not being outside during those hours, make sure you dress appropriately. Wear loose, breathable (think: cotton) clothing and footwear that won’t leave your feet sweaty. Hats are also crucial for blazing hot weather, keeping you cool by providing shade. Sunglasses will protect your eyes from damaging UV rays.

4. Refrigerate or freeze your bedsheets. If your AC is out after your electricity is restored, place your bedsheets in your fridge or freezer for a half an hour before you sleep, and you’ll never have trouble falling asleep because of the heat again. Also consider investing in soft gel packs that you can place underneath your sheets, or tucked between your legs (wrapped in a tea towel).

5. Cool down your “hot zones” Applying a little ice pack or a bottle filled with iced water will help you cool down immediately to your pressure points.
These pressure points are: Ankles, Behind the knees, Wrists, Elbow bends, Neck, Temples

Finally, be sure to have a working flashlight and extra batteries on hand – they’ll come in handy for both light and communication if the power is out. By being prepared, you can make a utilities shut off after a hurricane less of a headache for your family.

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