Colder temps following Hurricane Sandy pose safety concerns

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Along with power outages, Sandy will bring much colder temperatures. Many people will want to hook up their heaters up to generators or start up their fireplace.

One tip is to keep your generator away from your home and doors, etc. It's convenient but can be dangerous if you don't follow certain safety precautions.

Before long, the sound of generators could be familiar throughout the Richmond metro area. Kathryn Hedgepeth is getting prepared for those power outages early.

"Gassing up the car, getting batteries, getting dog food - some things you just don't want to run out of," said Kathryn Hedgepeth.

People are desperately hunting for generators, but Pleasants on West Broad sold the last unit Friday morning. More won't arrive until Tuesday after Dandy soaks the area. But for those who already have generators it's important to follow safety tips.

Have a professional wire your generator to the fuse box. Don't overload it with more wattage than it can handle, use heavy duty extension cords, and fresh fuel.

If you need to run an extension cord from your generator, it's better to use these heavy duty outdoor cords rather than the smaller ones.

Chances are people will be looking for any way to stay warm if they lose power and temps dip into the 30s and 40s.

"That hasn't really crossed my mind," Hedgepeth noted. "My blankets and dogs will keep me warm. We do have a fireplace and a portable kerosene stove. If it gets worse, we can use that."

Firefighters say it's best to have a specialist check out your fire place before starting it up this fall. One last tip- you want to make sure your generator is off and cool before you refuel it. For more hurricane safety tips, click here.