How to survive an extended power outage

Above: Those of you with generators are among the lucky ones

With no ETA from National Grid on when power will be restored in Southborough, many of us are eying our refrigerators with dread. Here’s what National Grid has to say on food safety:

Try to leave the refrigerator or freezer doors closed during a power outage. If the doors remain closed, refrigerated food can stay cool for about six to nine hours. Frozen food can remain safe for up to 24 hours.

Power has been out in many parts of Southborough for more than 24 hours now, which means there will likely be a lot of spoiled food going to the Transfer Station when it reopens this week.

Those of you with pump-driven septic systems have other problems to worry about. Here is an important message from the Southborough Board of Health:

All Southborough residents should be aware that if their septic system operates with a pump ejector system that their septic tank and pump chamber tank only has a limited capacity of one or two days storage. Should their household or business not have an emergency power generator and should electricity be out for two or more days and if they are on town water they should not flush their toilets, do laundry, take showers or use a lot of water because they could have sewerage begin to back up into their homes. Some systems are equipped with a battery operated high water alarm which would alert homeowners that their tanks are reaching their limit. But some older pump alarms may not have a battery alarm and people should be aware of their system’s limitations.

If a household has a private drinking water well they will not be able to use more water then what is already in their water storage tank and therefore even if they have a septic pump system will not have to worry because they will very shortly run out of water and will not be able to flush toilets or take showers anyway.

So, what’s keeping you sane with the power out? Got survival tips? Share how you’re coping with the power outage in the comments below.

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