Duracell, the world's leading battery manufacturer, provides the following important tips for staying safe in a blackout:
Listen to a battery-powered radio for news updates and public safety messages.
Test your phone and cell-phone, but use them sparingly so as to avoid overwhelming the telephone system and to save their battery charge.
Locate your emergency numbers and keep them in a handy place.
Stay indoors and in a cool area of your home or apartment; avoid engaging in extraneous activity for yourself and children.
Avoid burning candles, which can be a fire hazard and heat source; instead, use battery- operated flashlights or lanterns, which pose no fire risk.
For most effective battery life, don't mix old and new batteries.
Don't be tempted to remove your batteries from your smoke detector -- this is an important life-saving device, particularly in blackouts.
If you haven't stocked up on fresh batteries in advance, you may be able to borrow batteries from other gadgets to power more essential devices.