What to know about power outage, carbon monoxide safety

(NEW YORK) — Over 50,000 customers are in the dark in Texas Thursday morning as a winter storm pummels the state with snow and ice.

Here are safety tips to keep in mind:

Ahead of an outage, federal emergency officials advise installing carbon monoxide detectors and stocking up on batteries.

During a power outage, it is important to be mindful of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Never use a gas stovetop or oven to heat your home, and only use generators, camp stoves or charcoal grills when you are outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows, FEMA officials said.

Keep freezers and refrigerators closed during the power outage and buy food that doesn’t require refrigeration. The fridge will keep food cold for about four hours while a freezer will maintain the temperature for about 48 hours, officials said. Another option is storing food in coolers with ice.

FEMA officials recommend storing a thermometer in the fridge and freezer; once power is restored, throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.

If the power is out for more than one day, throw out any medication that should be refrigerated, unless the label says otherwise, FEMA officials said.

While trying to stay warm, officials in Bexar County, Texas, recommend closing the blinds to keep in some heat, closing off rooms to avoid wasting heat and stuffing towels or tags in cracks under doors.

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