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More than 2 million people in the greater Houston area are without power, most of them CenterPoint customers. The company expects power to be restored by Wednesday.

What citizens should know about power outages:

Power outages are increasing

According to Climate Central, weather-related power outages are on the rise. Here are some key facts:

  • The states with the most reported weather-related power outages were Texas, Michigan, California, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
  • Between 2000 and 2021, approximately 83% of reported major outages in the United States were due to weather-related events.
  • From 2000 to 2021, there were 1,542 weather-related power outages. Most outages were caused by winter weather (22%), tropical cyclones (15%), and other severe weather (58%).

Texas power outage map: Millions of people near Houston without power

Open Whataburger locations in the app serve as an alternative power outage map

How to prepare for power outages

Here are some precautions you can take in case of a power outage.

  • Make an inventory of the electricity-dependent items in your household.
  • Plan for alternate power sources such as batteries and portable chargers in case of a power outage.
  • Make sure every household member has a flashlight.
  • Check whether your landline phone will work in the event of a power outage and how long the backup battery will last.
  • Use a generator, but only outdoors and away from windows.
  • Unplug appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges.
  • Have alternative plans for refrigerating medications or using power-dependent medical equipment.
  • Water – one gallon per person per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • Food – non-perishable, easy-to-prepare foods (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • Have some cash ready
  • Contact information for families and emergencies
  • First aid kit
  • Hygiene and personal care products
  • Battery-operated or crank radio (NOAA weather radio if possible)

More: Millions of people are still without power despite rising temperatures in Houston. Here's how to stay cool

What do I need to know about generator safety?

Generators can be extremely helpful and indispensable during a power outage. Here's what you should consider before running a generator, according to ready.gov:

  • Generators and fuel should always be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows, doors and attached garages.
  • Install working carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your home. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can kill you, your family, and pets.
  • Keep the generator dry and protect it from rain or flooding. Touching a wet generator or connected equipment can cause electric shock.
  • Always connect the generator to equipment using heavy-duty extension cords.
  • Allow the generator to cool before refueling. Fuel spilled on hot engine parts can ignite.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.

How do I survive a long power outage?

Here is a list of things to consider during an extended power outage, according to ready.gov:

  • Keep freezers and refrigerators closed.
  • Use a generator, but only outdoors and away from windows.
  • Don't heat your home with the gas stove or oven. (This tip isn't necessary for those who live in the Florida summer heat.)
  • Unplug appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges.
  • Try to find alternative plans for refrigerating medications or using electricity-dependent medical equipment.
  • Check with local authorities to see if heating or cooling facilities are open in your area.

More: When will the next hurricane hit Texas? See the 7-day forecast for the Atlantic

What do I do with food and medicine after a power outage?

Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures of 104 degrees F or more for two hours or more, or that has an unusual smell, color, or texture. If the power goes out for more than a day, throw away any medicines that should be refrigerated unless the medication label says otherwise. Contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly for a refill.

What to do if you see a downed power line?

The aftermath of Hurricane Beryl left a lot of debris and damage in residential areas and businesses. If you are near a downed power line, avoid the following:

  • Always treat a power line as if it were live. Do not go near such a line.
  • Stay away from debris, large areas or puddles of water, and damaged electrical equipment.
  • Never touch a power line with your bare hands or a conductive object. Never touch anything that touches a power line, such as a ladder, pole, or tree.
  • If you see or are near a downed power line, leave the area and call 911.

— USA TODAY NETWORK – Florida reporter Samantha Neely contributed to this report.

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