ASHI and MEDIC First Aid Blog

With record heat waves in many parts of the United States, summer power outages can quickly become dangerous. The threat of heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke, are of particular concern for families with young children, older adults and individuals with disabilities or health issues.

Whether you’re looking at a planned power outage or prepping for the unexpected, here are some ways to prepare for summer power outages.


Power outages can be caused by natural disasters, extreme weather (e.g. high winds and summer storms), human error, equipment failure or overload of the electric grid. provides tips for what to do before, during and after a power outage. Prepare for power outages in summer months by:

  1. Create an emergency preparedness kit. Include emergency supplies like a first aid kit, flashlights, extra batteries, non-perishable foods and plenty of water for every member of your family (including pets).

  2. Make emergency plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices. Speak with your medical provider about how long medications can be stored at high temperatures and get tailored guidance for medications and devices that are critical for life.

  3. Plan for safe food storage. Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours, while a full freezer can maintain its temperature for about 48 hours. Don’t forget to make a plan for your breastmilk supply, if applicable.

  4. Use a portable generator outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows. Install a carbon monoxide detector with a battery backup on every level of your home to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

  5. Disconnect appliances and electronics. This will help avoid damage from power surges.

  6. Look for cooling locations near you by contacting your local officials. Alternatively, use facilities with an air conditioner, such as a public library or shopping mall, during peak times of a hot day.

For more emergency preparedness tips, check out some of our related blogs: