12/08/2017 06:15 AM PST

What to Do During a Power Outage

If you?ve been affected by a power outage do the following:

  • Use only flashlights for emergency lighting. Never use candles during a power outage due to the extreme fire risk.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed.
  • Keep potentially hazardous foods, such as meat or poultry, chilled to 41°F or less.
  • Do not place hot or unrefrigerated foods in the refrigerator once the power has gone out. It will raise the temperature inside the unit. Chill food with ice baths as needed.
  • Any foods that were prepared prior to the power outage that were not rapidly cooled should be discarded.
  • If the freezer is not full, group packages together so they will retain the cold more effectively. Without power, a full freezer will keep everything frozen for about two days. A half-full freezer will keep food frozen one day.
  • Keep meat and poultry items separated from other foods so if they begin to thaw, their juices will not drip onto other foods.
  • Discard any thawed food that has risen to room temperature and remained there for four hours or more.
  • Do not run a generator inside a home or garage. Do not connect a generator to a home's electrical system. If you use a generator, connect the equipment you want to run directly to the outlets on the generator.
  • Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic signals will stop working during an outage, creating traffic congestion.

For the latest emergency updates in English and Spanish, visit www.sdcountyemergency.com, and download the SD Emergency app. If you?ve been affected by the fire and need to talk to someone by phone about evacuations, shelters, road closures and other non-emergency disaster-related services, call 211. If you are hearing impaired, dial 711 and ask to be connected to (858) 300-1211.