Simple Steps to Prepare for a Power Outage
A power outage at home is an inconvenience. Be ready for the possibility of your electricity going out during a storm or an outage with your utility company. You’ll keep your family safe and prevent damage to your property. Here are a few ways to prepare for a power outage.
Install a Generator
A generator is a sizable investment, but having one is the best way to prepare for a power outage. If anyone in your household relies on a medical device that needs electricity, a home generator is critical. With a whole house generator, you can continue living normally at home during a power outage.
In case of a power outage, unplug everything from wall sockets. The power grid becomes unstable while the utility company works to restore power. A surge of electricity can happen as a result, with the potential to damage the electronics in your home.
Be Careful About Carbon Monoxide
You can’t smell or see carbon monoxide, but it can make you ill or even cause death. Heat sources that burn fuel and gas-powered stoves are a carbon monoxide hazard. Preparing for a power outage should include testing the carbon monoxide detectors and making sure their backup batteries are working.
Prepare for a Power Outage With Solar Lights
Do you have landscape lights that run on solar power? Bring them inside when the power goes out. This saves flashlights’ batteries for times when you need more light than the solar lights produce. Solar lights are safer to use than candles and, if recently charged, can provide light for hours. If the power outage lasts more than a day, place the solar lights outside while the sun is out to recharge for the next night.
Keep the Freezer Closed During a Power Outage
Most freezers will keep your food frozen for up to two days. To protect food inside, make sure no one opens the freezer and lets warm air in. Use a note on the outside of the freezer to remind everyone to keep it closed.
Get the Garage Door Open
All automatic garage doors have a manual release. Look for the pull-cord hanging from the arm connecting the rail to the door. While the garage door is closed, pull down on the rope and disconnect the opener from the door. You can now open and close the door manually.
Fill the Bathtub
Municipal water might stop working shortly after a blackout. Even if you don’t need water at the moment, fill sinks, tubs, and buckets with water so you can use it for flushing toilets and washing. A tank water heater will also have 40 gallons or so of water stored inside. Keep a few gallons of bottled water on hand for drinking.
Use Your Car for Charging Devices
During a power outage, you may have to think outside the box. If your cell phone loses its charge, don’t panic. Use your car to recharge your devices. Keep a car phone charger in your vehicle.