Storms trigger power outages
As Cherokee area residents have learned, when fierce thunderstorms roll through the county - downing trees, limbs, branches, and power lines - total power outages don't happen very often, but they do occur with enough frequency that families should be safely prepared if they're left "in the dark."
The following home safety tips are quite timely for this time of year:
*Have flashlights, fresh batteries and candles on hand. Hide batteries from children so they don't end up in toys instead of emergency equipment.
*Keep fresh batteries in a battery-powered radio so you can hear the news if power is out. And keep a battery-powered clock handy.
*Keep your cell phones batteries charged at all times.
*Keep your local electric cooperative telephone and account numbers handy so you'll have them when you call to report the power outage.
*Stock your cupboards with unrefrigerated prepared foods, so you won't have to open the freezer or refrigerator during an outage. A tightly shut refrigerator will keep food from spoiling for up to eight hours, and the freezer should stay safely cold for 24-48 hours.
Above it all, keep your family calm, do not panic and do your best to ride it out.
And remember, if you lose your TV signal but still have power to the rest of the house, you can still play videos on the VCR or DVD player which do not need a television signal to function.
Be prepared for the severe weather spring and summer storms can bring in the Midwest!