DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Heavy rain and high winds have caused many to lose power in the Miami Valley, and the storms aren’t over yet. Do you know what to do if you lose power?

AES Ohio has several tips on how to keep you and your family safe. If your power is out, you should first report it to AES Ohio online here. Then, make sure items like your electric stove are off. If a burner is on and goes unnoticed after the power is restored it could cause a fire.

Food Safety

During a power outage, it is important to make sure your food does not spoil. Before storms hit, AES Ohio recommends getting an appliance thermometer for both your fridge and freezer. The freezer should be at 0°F (Fahrenheit) or below and the refrigerator should be at 40°F or below. Making ice packs ahead of time can also help keep food cold in case of an outage.

During an outage, it is recommended that you keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to keep a consistent temperature. If the power outage continues for an extended period of time, you can purchase block or dry ice to keep the appliance as cold as possible.

After the power is returned, make sure your food has not spoiled before eating it. Discard refrigerated perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, soft cheeses, milk, eggs, leftovers, and deli items after 4 hours without power.

Generator Safety

When using a generator, be sure to follow the directions that came with it when purchased. While generators can help provide power to your home, they also come with their own risks. According to AES Ohio, it is possible for a generator to kill users with carbon monoxide, an odorless gas. If you feel sick, dizzy or weak while using a generator, get yourself and anyone nearby to fresh air. You can also install carbon monoxide alarms to warn you if the gas has reached a dangerous level.

Generators can also be a fire hazard, AES ohio said. Be sure to turn the generator off and let it cool before refuelling as gasoline can ignite if spilled on hot engine parts.

Finally, AES Ohio recommends plugging appliances directly into the generator or using a heavy-duty outdoor-rated extension cord that is rated to at least equal the sum of the connected equipment loads.

Power Line Safety

Power outages may be caused by downed power lines in your neighborhood. If you see a downed power line, always assume it is live, and stay at least ten feet away. You can report the downed line here or call 877-4OUTAGE.

When cleaning up after a storm, do not touch tree branches near downed lines until crews have repaired the damage. Never drive over downed power lines.

For more power outage tips, or to report an outage in your area, visit the AES Ohio website here.