What To Do If You Lose Power During The Kentucky Ice Storm

With an ice storm headed Kentucky’s way, power outages are predicted. 

Here’s what to do if you lose electricity. 

LG&E and KU recommend keeping warm air in and cool air out. 

“Seal leaks and gaps around the home with caulk, spray foam or weather-stripping. Make sure warm-air registers are not blocked by drapes or furniture.”

You should also have an emergency kit on hand with a battery-powered radio, flashlights for everyone in the family, fresh batteries for any devices, a first-aid kit and over-the-counter and prescription medications. 

If you see a downed power line, stay away and contact the utilities. LG&E customers can call 502-589-1444 and KU customers should call 1-800-981-0600.

Mayor Greg Fischer says that the city has identified available shelters for Louisville residents to stay in should power outages make it necessary.

The CDC and ready.gov has their own recommendations for dealing with a power outage, covering several areas. 

Food Safety

Food in the refrigerator will start going bad after four hours without power. A full freezer will keep your food safe for 48 hours (25 hours if half-full) if you don’t open the door.

Use a cooler with ice if necessary. Monitor food temperatures with a thermometer and throw it out if the temp is 40 degrees or higher. 

A general rule is four hours after the power is out, you should throw out perishable foods, including meat, poultry, fish eggs and leftovers. 

You can safely refreeze or cook food from the freezer if the food still contains ice crystals and feels as cold as if it was refrigerated. 

Drinking water

When the power goes out, your tap water may no longer be good due to water purification systems not functioning fully. You should use “safe water” for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene such as bottled, boiled or treated water.


If the power is out a day or more, you should throw away medications that need to be refrigerated, unless the drug’s label says otherwise. Consult your doctor or pharmacist immediately for a new supply. If your life depends on that refrigerated drug, you should use it only until a new supply is available.

Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning

You should use generators, pressure washers, grills and similar items outdoors only. Generators need to be kept at least 20 feet away from your home. Use an extension cord to keep it at a safe distance. If conditions are too cold, seek shelter with friends or at a community shelter.

Install carbon monoxide detectors with a battery backup in central locations on every level of your home. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include a headache, dizziness, weakness, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. 

In addition, ready.gov advises residents to: 

  • Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damages from electrical surges
  • Check with local officials about heating and cooling locations open near you. 

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