When the power goes out during a storm you're literally left in the dark. And when it comes to food and safety, there's a lot to know. Here's a quick checklist to help you through your outage.

1. STAY INFORMED

You can check outages in your area and get an update on the status of your outage on GeorgiaPower.com and GeorgiaEMC.com.

• GEORGIA POWER OUTAGE MAP | http://bit.ly/2jhSnIc

• GEORGIA EMC OUTAGE MAP | http://bit.ly/2xVx29J

• REPORT AN OUTAGE | Georgia Power: http://bit.ly/2jgwh94

• REPORT AN OUTAGE | Georgia EMC: http://bit.ly/2gXMEmn

• IF YOU SEE DOWNED POWER LINES | Call 1-888-891-0938

2. FOOD

• Keep your refrigerator/freezer doors closed. A closed refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours and a freezer about 48 hours.

• Has your power been out longer than the hours listed above? Foodsafety.gov has a chart that shows which foods you should throw out and which are still safe to consume. Click link to view chart: http://bit.ly/2daxsl5

3. SAFETY

• Be cautious when using emergency lighting. Ready.gov encourages the use of flashlights over candles since candles can easily start a fire.

• Have a generator? Never use one inside a home or garage. Ready.gov also says a generator should never be connected to a home's electrical system.

• Never use camp stoves, charcoal-burning grills or propane/kerosene heaters indoors.

• Carbon monoxide is always a concern during an outage. Do not use gas stovetops or ovens as heat sources as they pose risks of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.

• Avoid any unnecessary travel as traffic lights will also be out in your area

• Avoid downed power lines. If you see one, you can report it by calling this number 1-888-891-0938.

4. ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT

• Turn off or disconnect any appliances, equipment or electronics you were using when the power went out. When power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment.

• If you leave one light on you'll know when the power comes back on

5. STILL HAVE POWER? PREPARE FOR AN OUTAGE

• Charge up and keep your cellphones and battery-powered devices charged now. Keep any alternative chargers nearby. Here's a list from Ready.gov to keep tech ready: www.ready.gov/get-tech-ready

• More tips from Ready.gov

TRACKING IRMA

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