There are many things that cause the power to go out during storms and other harsh weather conditions. You shouldn’t sit around wondering what to do if the power goes out though. Instead, you should do some things beforehand, so that you’re ready before this happens.
Have the Right Supplies on Hand
When your power goes out completely there are a few supplies that you should have on hand. The things that you will want to have when the power goes out include:
- Flashlights with extra batteries
- A small gas lamp
- A small gas stove
- Extra fuel
When living in an area that experiences prolonged power outages it’s also a good idea to have a portable power generator. A small one will keep your refrigerator running so your food doesn’t spoil. You can even use it to power a TV or radio so you stay informed about what’s going on.
Some other things you’ll want to do include:
- Have an alternative charging method for your phone.
- Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and how to use it.
- Keep your car’s gas tank full, since gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.
- Have batteries for things like medical devices charged ahead of time.
Taking Care of Your Appliances During a Power Outage
While a brief power outage isn’t problematic for most appliances, it can cause a lot of damage to your computer. Even a brief flicker in your electricity can cause your computer to shut off completely. This can cause data loss, file corruption, and hard drive failure. The best way of protecting yourself from having this happen is by using an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). However, if you can’t afford one, make sure you turn your computer off when there’s a storm.
Staying Safe During a Power Outage
During a power outage you’ll want to stay safe. In order to do this, you should:
- Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed so your food stays cold for four hours.
- If it’s really hot outside, you may need to go somewhere cool like a mall or a “cooling shelter”.
- Drink lots of water if it’s hot in your home.
- Turn off or disconnect any appliances or computers.
- Never run a generator inside your home.
When the Power Comes Back On
If the power goes out, it’s bound to come back on again. Once it does, there are a few things you should do after a power outage as well. They include:
- Get rid of any food that’s been exposed to temperatures above 40° F (4° C) for 2 hours or more. Also throw away any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture.
- Restock your emergency kit with fresh batteries, canned foods and other supplies.
- Charge up your batteries again for the next time the power goes out.
An Ounce of Prevention
These are the things you want to do if the power goes out. Preparing for these times is relatively easy. Knowing that you’ve taken the time to do so before it happens will make you happy, because its more of an inconvenience than anything else.