Day-after survival tips for Hurricane Sandy

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These folks apparently decided that it was a nice day for a stroll under the Ben Franklin Bridge.

H ERE'S A QUICK guide to keep you informed on what to do if you awoke Tuesday morning to damage from Hurricane Sandy.

IF YOUR POWER IS OUT: Use battery-powered flashlights instead of candles to avoid a flame igniting a potential gas leak. Have a battery-powered radio and clock available.

Check your house for loose power lines, gas leaks and structural damage. Take pictures of damage for insurance purposes.

Peco customers should call the emergency number (800-841-4141) to report power outages. The more reports, the more effectively Peco can dispatch crews to restore service.

The company expects that it will take multiple days to restore power to the thousands who will likely lose it. You can access peco.com from a mobile device to report outages and check the system's status.

WHAT TO DO WITH FOOD IF YOUR POWER GOES OUT: Use an appliance thermometer to help determine if the food is safe during power outages.

"When it doubt, throw it out," goes the saying.

Refrigerators should be 40 degrees or lower; freezers at zero degrees or below. Group food to help it stay cold longer. Freeze refrigerated items such as leftovers, milk and fresh meat that may not be needed immediately. Have coolers on hand to keep food cold for about four hours, which is how long a refrigerator will remain cold if the doors are kept shut.

IF YOU SUFFER PROPERTY DAMAGE: Contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Take pictures of damage and avoid self-repairs.

FEMA.gov offers services and grants to help people repair their homes and find replacement housing. Call the Pennsylvania Insurance Department at 877-881-6388 with questions or complaints.

IF YOUR PHONE GOES OUT: If your phone, Internet or television services go out, visit the provider's website on a mobile device to check for outages.

Comcast users registered to receive text alerts may text OUT to 266278.


Contact Andrew Eiser at 215-854-2513 or eisera@phillynews.com, or follow him on Twitter @andrew_eiser.