While you might have had the power go out on you a number of times in the past, were you fully prepared and knew what to do during the situation?
Not taking the proper precautions and actions before and during a power outage can have some costly results. Not only your home and appliances could be affected, but on your family as well.
Preparing before a power outage happens will keep you out of the dark and prevent you from scrambling to adapt to your new environment. Let’s take a look at ways you can prepare for a power outage, and what steps or actions need to be taken. Stay safe and use these tips!
How to Be Prepared During a Power Outage
Be Prepared Beforehand
Are you prepared for a power outage? How about a power outage during a significant crisis? Not having a plan before the situation presents itself can prove costly. Here are a few ways you can continue to eat meals, stay warm, or deal with injuries during a serious power outage.
Have an Emergency First-Aid Kit on Hand
Having a first-aid kit on hand for any emergencies isn’t going to hurt. Most power outage cases may not require one, but you never know when you’re going to need it.
Here are some of the basic, but best first-aid kits for you to consider putting in your home.
Back-up Cooking Method
If you don’t have a gas stove, how do you plan on cooking meals for days on end with a power outage? Having a camping stove is a great way of cooking any small meals or boiling hot water.
Stock up on Blankets
Power outages can happen not only in thunderstorms but in wintery blizzard-like conditions.
Storing blankets in the closet is not a bad idea. Circumstances like this will arise, and remind you why you have them tucked away in the first place.
Know What to Do When Circumstances Get Ugly
Check the Circuit Breaker
Hopefully, the power going out is due to fuses or breakers that have short-circuited in your home. This can be a much quicker problem to solve.
Check your main electrical panel and see if there are breakers or fuses that have caused the power to go out. Flipping a breaker switch or replacing a fuse might be all you need to do.
Check Your Neighbors’ Homes
If your circuit breaker was not the issue, go check on your neighbors’ houses and see if their power is out too. If that’s the case, you are dealing with a bigger issue.
Call the Electric Company
Get on the phone and call the electric company and let them know about your situation. Remember to be patient, it might take a moment to get through. Chances are, they’ve had a number of calls from your neighbors already.
Turn off all Appliances and Lights
To avoid any power surge damage to appliances like TVs from getting zapped when the power is restored, go ahead and turn off and unplug everything. The last thing you need is to miss a game day because of power outage damage.
Grab Flashlights/Bright Lanterns
I’m not sure why it is, but most of the time it seems that the power goes out during the middle of the night. Gather up flashlights and bright lanterns, like a camping lantern, to help give you some visibility.
Try to stay away from lighting candles as we used to when we were kids. This increases the chances of fires if knocked over or played with by children.
Keep Refrigerator/Freezers Shut
Whatever you do, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors shut at all times. You can’t be sure how long it will be until the power is restored. It could take several days. Most freezers can store food for up to 24-36 hours when you keep the doors shut.
Limit your Flushing
Sometimes the city’s power outage will affect the water system pumps. If they aren’t working then water can’t be pumped to your home and the toilets you use. If that happens, try to limit your flushing if at all possible. You may end up having to use some of your stored water to perform the flushing needed. There’s a saying I’ve heard from some plumber friends: “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.” Having a bucket handy to flush the body waste using stored water may prove to be a blessing.
Other Tips for Dealing with a Power Outage
Have you noticed that we forget to take care of ourselves during a calamity? Remember to drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated during a power outage. The power can be out for any period of time, stay hydrated.
Wintertime Power Outage
During a winter power outage, not only does the cold affect you and your family, but your home’s pipes as well. You don’t want your pipes freezing and bursting, especially if you’re not home. Don’t forget to report an outage!
Leave a small stream of water running in the kitchen sink to help with this. You can also have your pipes insulated beforehand to help prevent frozen pipes.
If your power is out for an extended number of days during the winter, it might even be better to store your foods outside to prevent spoiling, if it’s cold enough. If you decide to empty everything out, be sure to leave your refrigerator doors open while the power remains out.
Know When to Evacuate
Are you in a dangerous situation while the power is out? If so, for your own safety, get out! Extreme cold temperatures can be life-threatening even inside the safety of your own home.
Go and stay with friends or family during this time. Don’t remain in such a helpless state if you have options.
Tips for Using a Generator
Some people are under the impression that a back-up generator is going to have all your electrical appliances up and running, just like normal.
Generators are great for keeping your refrigerator running, a few lamps on or fans blowing. That’s about all.
Never plug a back-up generator into a wall outlet. This can be extremely dangerous, for not only your family, but the utility man that’s working on getting your power fixed.
Dealing with an electric outage is no fun, generators can help.
Power Outage Tips to Remember
- Your full freezer won’t go bad right away, rely on the generator.
- Anything battery powered is better than not having any sources at all.
- Be sure to try and report downed power lines, if possible.
- Keep extra batteries on hand.
- Keep cell phones charged.
- Check on family members and neighbors to make sure everyone is ok, especially the elderly one who are most vulnerable.
Power outages can be extremely frustrating to deal with, and always at the worst opportune times. These are some ways to make sure you make the best of your situation. What other things are important to consider when you’re dealing with a power outage for an extended amount of time?
Please keep prepping, we must be diligent. May God bless this world, Linda