How to Prepare for Power Outages

Posted by on September 10, 2013 at 12:52 pm

 

prepareWeather can be unpredictable, and we need to keep ourselves and loved ones as safe as possible during a bad storm. There are basic things you can do to prepare your home for loss of power in either the summer or the winter months. 

Don’t get caught in the dark

o   Keep a few emergency automatic power failure night lights plugged in. Plug in emergency night lights in dark hallways, bedrooms, common areas, basements, and garages.  Emergency lights can last from 6-20 hours depending upon what you purchase. These can come in handy the first couple of hours during a power outage, especially when you are trying to make your way around a dark house.

o   Always keep a number of flash lights and an emergency lantern with fresh batteries in your home. Make sure to keep your flashlights, lantern and additional batteries in a location that you can get to easily with little or no light.

o   Have candles and plenty of matches as well.  Make sure you keep your candles away from anything flammable, such as drapes.

Food Safety – What to do when power remains out for over 4 hours

o   Invest in a cooler and ice packs. Keep the cooler in a convenient location inside your home and ice packs in the freezer.  When power is out do not open your refrigerator if you do not have to, unless the power outage lasts longer than 4 hours. After 4 hours get your cooler and ice packs and pack items from your refrigerator into your cooler. Throw away any food that has a temperature of more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

o   If your freezer is half full, it will hold safely for up to 24 hours. A full freezer will hold safely for 48 hours – do not open freezer door if you can avoid it.

o   Get the right foods before you lose power. Keep at least a 3 day supply of nonperishable foods such as crackers, whole-grain cereals, and canned food. Don’t forget a manual can opener!

Things to do before a power outage:

o   Be prepared for injuries. You should have an emergency kit at your home that is fully stocked with bandages in various sizes, sterile dressings and gloves, hand sanitizer and antibiotic towelettes, a thermometer, pain medicines, tweezers, and scissors. Make sure you purchase or build your own first aid kit that is large enough for your family

o   Stock up on bottled water. Water purification systems may not be working when the power goes out.

o   Purchase a battery operated or hand cranked radio to stay tuned in to news and emergency information when power is out.

o   Fill up all your vehicles’ tanks in case gas stations lose their power as well. Remember if you are using a generator they require roughly 12-20 gallons of gas per day. Store all fuel away from the house.

o   Have car chargers for cell phones and keep a corded phone as well. Cordless phones require AC power. Keep in mind cell phones may be more reliable than landline phones when local service is disrupted.

o   Be prepared for special needs. Tell your utility and local fire department before a storm if someone in your home uses an oxygen concentrator, ventilator, or medical bed, as power may be restored to you sooner. Always keep a one month supply of medication on hand.

It is important to plan ahead and be prepared you never know when a bad storm will hit. Sudden power outages can be frustrating and troublesome, but being prepared can eliminate some of that stress. For prolonged power outages, it may be wiser to seek shelter with friends, family, or a hotel.  Stay safe!

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