TENNESSEE, USA — Roughly 8,400 people in Sevier County are without power after a winter storm swept through the area Monday morning.
As power is restored though, people will need to take steps to stay safe and warm as temperatures drop. Below are some ways people in East Tennessee can stay safe without power.
Keep the Refrigerator Closed
Some medications require refrigeration to keep their strength, such as penicillin and insulin. If the power goes out for a day or more and the medications cannot be refrigerated, the CDC says people should throw them away.
They also recommended people throw away food if it goes bad. To keep food and medication good for as long as possible, people should the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
By keeping the doors closed, they will be able to keep cold air in for longer, keeping everything inside the fridge cold too.
Don't Use Generators Inside
People can stay warm by bundling up and layering clothing during a power outage. Fireplaces or candles can also help people stay warm, and anyone athletic enough can also do light exercise to increase their body temperature.
However, officials urged people not to use generators or propane device inside their houses or basements to stay warm. They said people should keep those devices outside to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Find Alternative Shelter
If all else fails, people can seek out alternative shelter. Many community areas usually offer free warm spaces during major emergencies, such as schools or community centers. People should check with community officials before heading out though — many locations may have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
If people decide to move to an alternative location, they should bring supplies such as hand sanitizer, spare masks, cleaning materials, clothes, and important documents like driver's licenses.
People should also be careful if traveling on the roads since transportation officials warned that there were some hazardous conditions due to the snowstorm.