Secure flashlights, battery-powered lanterns and extra batteries. Avoid light sources that require a flame or fire.
If you depend on a well, you'll need to fill bathtubs or other large containers for household use, like flushing toilets. Fill clean pitchers or jugs for drinking water. If you have livestock or poultry, secure a standby generator to run the well.
Nonperishable foods that don't need cooking are ideal, like canned fruit, powdered milk, peanut butter, bread, and crackers. Don't forget a manual can opener! If there's room, fill plastic containers (e.g., rinsed-out milk jugs) with water beforehand and put inside your refrigerator and freezer. The jugs take the space of air that warms quickly and also provide cooling.
Have blankets, sleeping bags and extra clothes on-hand, including hats. If you have a fireplace, make sure there's kindling and a good supply of wood. Be extremely careful when using alternate heating sources. Some are not approved for indoor use and could be a fire or carbon monoxide hazard. Make sure your fire extinguisher is charged and working.
Get a portable AM/FM radio with extra batteries for local information and a NOAA Weather Radio for weather warnings. A wind-up or battery-powered alarm clock might come in handy, too. Cordless phones don't work without power, so have at least one wired phone available. Remember to charge your cell phone in case phone lines go out.
Have a contingency plan in place for patients who have a medical necessity for electricity. This includes backup power, extra medical supplies, or an alternate location until the outage is over. Make sure supplies of prescription drugs are adequate and have a first-aid kit on hand.
If you connect a generator to your home's wiring system, Georgia law requires you to have a properly installed transfer switch. A transfer switch isolates the generator from our lines and eliminates feedback to the electric system. Feedback can electrocute anyone coming in contact with wires your generator has energized. If you don't have a transfer switch installed, plug appliances directly into the generator using a properly sized extension cord. Also make sure you have a supply of generator fuel and store it in approved containers. View our generator guide.
Back up your computer regularly and use high-quality surge suppressors. If you have critical information, consider an uninterruptible power supply for desktop computers. If you have a laptop, buy an extra battery or a power inverter that will allow you to run the laptop from a cigarette lighter plug.