During a power outage, for food safety, the Red Cross recommends:

-- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. First use perishable food from the refrigerator. An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cold for about four hours.

-- Next, use food from the freezer. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.

-- Use your non-perishable foods and staples after using food from the refrigerator and freezer.

-- If it looks like the power outage will continue beyond a day, prepare a cooler with ice for your freezer items.

-- Keep food in a dry, cool spot and keep it covered at all times.

The Red Cross makes the following recommendations for electrical equipment:

-- Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment, including sensitive electronics.

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

-- Leave one light turned on so you'll know when the power comes back on.

-- Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic lights will be out and roads will be congested.

To avoid the dangers of carbon monoxide during a power outage, the Red Cross recommends:

-- Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.

-- The primary hazards to avoid when using alternate sources for electricity, heating or cooking are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire.

-- If the carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Call for help from the fresh air location and remain there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you.

Source: http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/power-outage