Did you lose power after Tuesday’s storms? A few health and safety tips to keep in mind

A fridge light shows in a dark kitchen

Following the storms on Tuesday, tens of thousands of us were without power. The lights are back on for most, but crews are still working diligently to restore power for everyone. If you’re someone without power or who just had it restored, here are a few health and safety tips to keep in mind:

If you’re on well water, your water might be cloudy.

When your private well loses power and comes back online, sometimes an effect is cloudy water. Rest assured this is just aesthetic and is fine to drink. Flush your system by running the taps for a few minutes until the water runs clear again.

Has it been more than a year since you tested your well for bacteria and nitrate? You’re due! Learn the details on our well testing webpage.

When in doubt, throw it out!

We’re talking about food in your fridge and freezer. Generally speaking, your fridge will keep food cold for up to four hours during a power outage. A full freezer will hold a safe temperature for about 48 hours. If it’s half full and the door stays shut, you’ve got about 24 hours. If your power was out longer, USDA has a great list on what’s okay to save and what to throw out (the first table talks about refrigerated food, and a second table outlines what to do with frozen food).

Check in on your neighbors and local loved ones.

It’s always nice to check on neighbors following a storm. This is especially important if your neighbors may be medically dependent on electricity. Stop by or send them a text just to make sure they’re okay.

Prepare for next time!

Have an emergency kit and a plan for any future power outages. Our power outage webpage walks you through the basics. 

This content is free for use with credit to Public Health Madison & Dane County .

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