Storm aftermath: What to do if your power goes out or if your home or vehicle is damaged

In the wake of severe storms that left thousands without power, AAA experts are offering tips on how to deal with a power outage or damage to your home or vehicle.

If your power is out and you have a generator, both AAA and AES Ohio, formerly Dayton Power & Light, recommend ensuring there is good ventilation. AAA said do not run a generator inside a closed structure and AES Ohio recommends ensuring plenty of distance between the generator and your home or business. Without proper ventilation, you could possibly die from carbon monoxide poisoning, AES Ohio said. AAA also warns that anyone using candles for light should be careful with any open flames.

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AAA recommends avoiding opening freezer or refrigerator doors to prevent food spoilage. If meat thaws, cook the meat on an outdoor grill to prevent it from spoiling, do not refreeze it. If the power is out for an extended time, AAA recommends eating food that will spoil quickly first.

If a tree falls on your home or vehicle insurance may cover removal of the tree and repairs due to damage. If a branch or tree damages your vehicle, you need to file a claim using your vehicle policy’s comprehensive coverage. Damage to a vehicle caused by heavy wind or fallen tree limbs is covered under the optional comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy, AAA said.

If a tree in your yard falls onto your neighbor’s home, your neighbor’s homeowner’s policy would provide insurance coverage. The same applies if a neighbor’s tree falls onto your house.

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