How to Prepare for a Power Outage
When the wind blows too hard, a car careens off of the road into a power line pole or the ice just gets too heavy for the tree branch, you could be left in a indefinite power outage and scrambling to make the situation manageable. Major power outages during bad weather could spell a disaster for those who aren’t prepared. Here are five tips to help you prepare for no power during extreme weather.
Purchasing and Operating a Generator
For those who can afford it, a good generator can be a real money- and worry-saver. Generators operate on gas and can fuel one or several outlets to keep refrigerators, heaters, appliances and other important units running. Different generators offer different power ratings, so you will want to choose a generator that can run all equipment you need.
Generators must be operated correctly to ensure home safety. The biggest danger with a home generator is carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, electrocution and fire. Users will want to be careful to follow directions that come with the generator and operate it appropriately. Portable generators should never be used inside, including the garage, crawlspace, and basement.
Saving and Storing Food
In order to keep refrigerated food from spoiling, keep coolers on hand along with extra water bottles frozen solid in the freezer to act as ice. Pop tarts, granola bars, canned soup and other non-perishable, easy-to-prepare foods should be included in prep kits. The Red Cross recommends storing one gallon of water for each person and pet in the household for each day of a power outage.
Preparing for the Weather
Power outages often occur during extremely hot or cold times of the year. A buddy burner is one type of creative candle that can be made ahead of time to offer a contained heat source during an emergency. For those that own generators, keeping a portable heater or air conditioner can really help reduce the strain of a power outage during bad weather. Some homes also have fireplaces, so keeping wood chopped and ready to go is a great way to provide a natural heat source that requires no electricity.
During hot days without power, keeping a window open at the lowest level of the house (and preferably in the shade) and one at the top level of the house can help keep the coolest air of the day circulating in and the hot air pushing out. Closing blinds will help keep the sun from heating up the home during the day and then opening many windows after the sun goes down can help get the house as cool as possible in preparation for the next day.
Don’t Stress It
It is important not to stress during an emergency. Not only will your pets and children react to your negative energy, but the entire experience will feel longer and more stressful if you are miserable. Try to think of a power outage like a big camping adventure and have fun being creative.
Solar-Operated Options and More
When items rely on the sun for power, you don’t have to store batteries. Flashlights, for example, can be placed in the sun during the day to stay powered at night. Other flashlights or lamps can be manually wound to generate enough power to work without batteries. Because batteries are not easy to store long-term, it is ideal to have as many items as possible that do not require batteries alone. Other items that can be great to have on hand include solar-powered phone chargers, radios, generators and power inverters.
Safety tips courtesy of Myfox Home Security System.