Strong winds may cause power outages in Chicago and northern Illinois this evening, according to the National Weather Service. "Damaging winds are likely to blow down trees and power lines. Widespread power outages are possible. Travel will be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles."
Any outside decorations, including seasonal Christmas lights and outdoor furniture, should be secured. Drive with caution in windy situations, especially on interstates and wide roads. The high wind warning from the National Weather Service is forecast to expire tomorrow morning.
As you can see from the graphic above, wind gusts of 60 miles per hour may occur in Chicago and the surrounding region. If you're walking or driving during strong winds, you should watch out for flying debris. During strong winds, trees and power lines might fall. Also, roadway signs may become loose. Keep an eye out for loose objects that may fall from balconies if you're downtown or in a densely populated area.
Before a power outage occurs, you should take an inventory of the items that rely on electricity. It's a good idea to make sure that everyone in the house has a flashlight. Also, determine whether your phone will function in the event of a power outage and how long any portable chargers will survive.
During a power outage, you should pay attention to the food in your refrigerator and freezer, according to the US Government. "The refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. Use coolers with ice if necessary. Monitor temperatures with a thermometer. Throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher."
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