2013-12-13 / Front Page

Preparation, planning is key to weathering power outage

By Sgt. 1st Class Kelly Jo Bridgwater
Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office

Power outage facility closure Power outage facility closure It’s getting closer, Dec. 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the day Fort Gordon will conduct an installation-wide power outage to allow Georgia Power to make improvements to the installation’s power substation leaving assigned personnel and residents of the post without power for approximately a seven-hour period.

A day without power doesn’t have to be a day of misery and discomfort. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and with a bit of preparation and planning you and your family members may find the day goes off without a hitch.

Fort Gordon Garrison Commander Col. Samuel Anderson says the command looked at all options before settling on Dec. 28 as the date for the power outage.

“This is necessary work to ensure our power grid continues to be reliable for our service members and families,” said Anderson. “ We hope that by notifying the community in advance, organizations and families can plan for the outage and minimize the disruption to their lives.”

Though the majority of facilities on Fort Gordon will be closed due to the power outage there will be places open where service and family members may spend their time until the power is fully restored. The Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center auditorium will be open for movies and entertainment. In addition, the Bingo Palace will also be open. A complete list of Fort Gordon facilities and their closure status is provided (to the right).

The following tips provided by the power outage fact sheet compiled by the office of Installation Emergency Management offers tips on how to keep you and your family healthy and safe during the power outage. The complete fact sheet may be found below: How do I prepare for the outage?

• Ice -- surround your food with ice to keep food colder for a longer period of time. Temperature should not exceed 40 degrees. Residents should begin making/ bagging ice for critical cooler storage needs now (baby formula, breast milk, medicines, etc); no ice will be provided.

• Refrigerator/freezer -- a full refrigerator can safely preserve food for 4-6 hours and a full freezer for 48 hours.

• If someone in your home is dependent on electric powered, life-sustaining equipment, have a backup power supply in your plan.

• Charge your cel l phones/portable electronic devices in advance of the outage

• Keep your car’s gas tank full.

• Residents who are going to be out of town should let the leasing office know, and if desired sign a waiver to allow Balfour Beatty Community to check your home. Contact BBC at 772-7041

• Turn off and unplug all computers and electrical/ electronic equipment. When power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment. What should I do during the power outage?

• Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to keep your food as fresh as possible.

• Keep home doors shut to retain home heat.

• Do not run a generator or burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Never use your gas oven as a source of heat.

• Consider going to a movie theater, shopping mall or “warming shelter” that may be open in your community. If you remain at home, put on layers of warm clothing.

• The Bingo Palace will be showing movies and selling snacks throughout the outage, in addition to afternoon Bingo. It will be used as a warming facility on a first-come, first-serve basis. The DDEAMC auditorium, first floor, will be open with children’s movies throughout the day. The priority of seating is to personnel with family members who have special needs. What to do when the power comes back on?

• Verify heat and hot water has returned (allow time for hot water heater to heat the water in the storage tank).

• Restart electronic devices as desired.

• Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures higher than 40° F (4° C) for two hours or more, or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out!

• Never taste food or rely on appearance or odor to determine its safety. Some foods may look and smell fine, but if they have been at room temperature too long, bacteria causing food-borne illnesses can start growing quickly. Some types of bacteria produce toxins that cannot be destroyed by cooking.

• Call the Balfour Beatty Community work order line at 772-9562, or (610) 864-8937, if heat doesn’t come on or water heater doesn’t relight or for power outages.

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