First Energy, parent company of Met-Ed, has issued the following tips for weathering Hurricane Sandy.
* If you have a water well and pump, keep an emergency supply of bottled water and consider filling your bathtub with fresh water.
* Keep a flashlight and extra batteries handy. Use care when burning candles; open flames are a fire hazard.
* If power goes out, unplug appliances like refrigerators and freezers, and sensitive electronic equipment like TVs and computers, so that they won't overload when power is restored.
* Gather extra blankets or a sleeping bag for each person. Portable heaters and burning candles that are left unattended, especially around children and pets, can create a fire hazard. In addition, gasoline- or diesel-powered generators and appliances can produce deadly levels of carbon monoxide and should never be operated inside the home or garage.
* Stock an emergency supply of convenience foods that do not require cooking.
* Keep a battery-powered radio with extra batteries on hand. Tune in to a local radio station for current storm information.
* Have a hard-wired telephone or a charged cell phone handy in the event you need to report your electricity is out. Mobile phones can be charged in your vehicle using a car charger when power is out. A smart phone can be used to access online information sources.
* Please call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) to report outages immediately, or report them online by clicking "report outage" on our website, www.firstenergycorp.com. FirstEnergy customer call centers will be fully staffed. The more people who call, the faster we can pinpoint the location where crews must be sent for repairs.
* Immediately report downed wires to 888-544-4877 or your local police or fire department. Never go near a downed power line, even if you think it's no longer carrying electricity. Stay more than 30 feet away from downed power lines, don't walk or drive near or over a downed line, and watch out for anything touching the line. If a wire falls on a vehicle, passengers should stay inside until help arrives.
* Keep children and pets away from any wires.
* When operating a generator, always disconnect the power coming into your home. Otherwise, power from your generator could be sent back onto the utility lines, creating a hazardous situation for utility workers. The proper generator should be selected and installed by a qualified electrician.
* Stay out of flooded basements, even if the power is off. Stay away from the breaker box if it's in a flooded basement.