Some common causes of power outages include heavy storms, planned maintenance, and automobile accidents. Depending on why the power is out, you may be without electricity for a few minutes to a few days or weeks. It’s important to prepare for a power outage ahead of time so that you can keep your family and home safe when one occurs.
Prepare for a Power Outage with Flashlights and Batteries
You should have at least one flashlight for every family member in the home. Store several packages of batteries for the flashlights as well. To prepare for a power outage, build an emergency kit and keep your flashlights and batteries in it.
Consider using a duffel bag or plastic storage container for your emergency kit. Keep your emergency kit somewhere that’s easy to access so you don’t have to dig in a closet or look through a dark basement when the power is out.
You may also want to get solar lanterns to charge during the daytime. This way you can read, do a puzzle, or play a game with your family when it gets dark outside.
Plan for Medical Needs
Some medical devices are powered by electricity and some medications need to be refrigerated. Talk with your doctor about how long your refrigerated medication can go without being cold. Discuss alternative ways to meet your medical needs if you depend upon an electrical medical device. If you rely on power for a necessary medical device, invest in a generator.
Stock Food and Water to Prepare for a Power Outage
Put enough non-perishable food and water in your emergency kit for everyone in your household for at least two weeks. A general rule of thumb is to have one gallon of water per person per day.
Plan to use coolers and ice to keep refrigerated and freezer items cold. Purchase a thermometer to monitor the temperature of your refrigerator, freezer, and coolers, and toss food if the temperature reaches 4 degrees Celsius or higher.
Protect Your Electronics
To protect your electronics, unplug them as soon as a power outage occurs. Sometimes power surges happen when the electricity comes back on, and these surges can cause damage to your electronics and appliances if they’re plugged in. Alternatively, you can turn your main circuit breaker off.
Staying Connected During a Power Outage
Prepare for a power outage by putting a battery-operated radio in your emergency kit. A radio will help you stay up-to-date with what is going on in your area. Radio stations may also provide information on where you can go for supplies and places you can seek refuge in a power outage.
Cell phones are helpful to stay connected with others. Put some power banks into your emergency kit to help keep your phone charged during a power outage. You may want to consider getting solar power banks that can be recharged by the sun. During a power outage, conserve your phone’s battery by switching to battery-saving mode.
Power outages are inconvenient and can even be dangerous. However, when you prepare for a power outage, you’ll be better equipped to keep your family safe.