Utilities warned Louisiana residents that it may be weeks before power can be restored to their homes following the devastation caused by Hurricane Ida. As of Monday morning, more than 888,000 customers are without power, and that number is growing as the storm moves across the country.
Louisiana power outages could last for weeks
Entergy New Orleans, the city’s electric utility has tweeted that “it will likely take days to determine the extent of damage to our electric grid in the New Orleans metro area and much longer to restore electric transmission to the region.”
The Federal Emergency Management Agency advises people to make sure their portable devices have batteries as fully charged as possible.
The New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness recommends communicating via SMS text messaging because that uses the least amount of cell phone battery power.
If you are using a generator to power appliances or your home, make sure it is placed outside in a well-ventilated area, as generator fumes could cause carbon monoxide poisoning, emergency experts said.
Refrigerators and freezers should be kept closed during the power outage.
“The refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will maintain temperature for about 48 hours. Use coolers with ice if necessary,” FEMA advises.
If you need to cook any food, charcoal grills are more efficient for cooking during a power outage. Grills should be used outdoors to avoid any carbon monoxide poisoning.
When dealing with the heat, emergency management experts emphasize constant hydration and wearing thin, comfortable clothing.
Battery-powered cooling devices, such as portable fans, are recommended to combat the heat, experts say.