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Prepare for summer power outages

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Residents on Washington Street in South Bend are still without power – and it could be as late as Friday before all power is restored.

Flashlights, batteries and bottled water are some of the basic necessities you need when living through a power outage.

"We've had a couple people call who can't get out of their neighborhoods. If they can get out, they should get some water and pick up a generator so they can get their refrigerator goods back under power so they don't lose their food,” said Don Smessaert of Home Depot.

Without refrigeration, food goes bad quickly.

"If you're in doubt, throw it out. Anything after two hours, especially if it's a protein product like milk or dairy. The bacteria's already starting to grow and you don't want to make your family sick just by assuming that it's okay,” said Rita Hooton of the St. Joseph County Health Department.

Cold food needs to stay at 41 degrees or colder.

That means a lot of ice or a generator.

"If you're a person who has a chest freezer full of last year's hunt you may want to get a generator so you don't lose that,” said Smessaert.

If you have any questions about food safety, contact the St. Joseph County Health Department.

The city of South Bend will be collecting spoiled food on Friday. To get on the pick-up list, call 3-1-1.

Click here for what you should do during power outages and for generator safety tips

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