Power outage – preparation tips and what to do
There could be different reasons for a power outage. They range from natural disasters to heatwaves and problems with the electrical grid. No matter the reason, it’s unnerving when your power suddenly goes out. Here are some tips for you to use when it goes out.
What do I need to prepare for a power outage?
When you have a power outage, the last thing you would want to be found doing is scrambling around, looking for ways to get power in the darkness. It could be dangerous to start checking drawers and closets for flashlights and things you need when you can’t see what’s inside there.
The first thing you should do to prepare for a power outage is put together an emergency kit.
Put the kit in a location that’ll be easy to access for most household members. Putting things that you would usually need inside a container, a plastic container, or a bag is a good option to use. Every household member should know the kit’s location so one member can access it during a power outage and help other members of the house.
Another thing you can do to prepare for a power outage is bought an emergency weather radio. These radios are solar-powered or may be operated with hand cranks. Your emergency power outage kit should contain one of these.
Flashlights are also something that belongs in your power outage emergency kit. You may find a need for a flashlight even without a power outage. Each member of the household should have a flashlight and even one extra. It might seem a bit excessive, but having a flashlight in cases of emergencies would make people feel calmer.
If you are able, you should buy a water purification tablet to safeguard the purity of your water. You should also buy a food thermometer to test the internal temperature of the food in your refrigerator. The power outage may last for a few hours or a few days; nevertheless, if you’re unsure of food that was previously in your refrigerator, the internal temperature should let you know whether it’s safe to eat.
You can’t predict where each household member would be during a power outage, but the whole family should gather in one room and stay together if possible. It reduces the risk of getting into accidents.
What should you not do during a power outage?
When the power goes out, things can get pretty scary, and you may be inclined to do things you’d think are helpful but, in reality, aren’t. You have to be careful not to make the situation even more dangerous when you think you’re helping.
When there is a power outage, do not light a candle no matter how tempting it is. It might seem that it’s the next logical thing to do, you may even have candles for this exact reason, but candles are open flames that can easily tip over and cause a fire. It’s better to use a battery-powered flashlight that generates more light than a single candle.
Another thing to not do when there’s a power outage is let your phone die. As tempting as playing a game or two on your phone is, with your laptop or computer and your television out of commission, your phone needs to be running for as long as it can in case of an emergency.
Do not be tempted to empty the freezer because you think there’s no use keeping food in the freezer when there’s no power. Frozen food can serve as an insulator and keep another food cold for a little while longer.
Clean water is essential for life, so try as much as possible not to waste water during a power outage so there’d be water needed for as long as possible.
Can I shower during a power outage?
Taking a shower during a power outage is completely safe. If you’re worried about electrical surges during your shower, you should probably stay away from a hot shower. However, electrical surges and power outages affecting showers are extremely rare, and you should be safe.
You shouldn’t take any unnecessary showers, though, and try to conserve water during this period.
However, if your power outage occurs due to freezing conditions, you should turn on your tap slightly to allow water to flow through the pipes to prevent them from freezing and eventually bursting.
Opening up the cold water taps would make the pipes still active.
Preparation and Tips to try
If you have an advanced warning about a power outage, these are the steps you should take to prepare for it –
Make a list of all the items and appliances you have and use that rely on electricity. If you can substitute with batteries, do so. If you cannot, plan for alternative sources of electricity to use, like a power bank or a portable charger.
Make sure every member of your household has a flashlight. Calculate how long your battery backup would last and how far your home phone would work.
If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor about planning for your medical devices powered by electricity. Inquire as to how long medication can be at higher temperatures and if there is any specific guidance for medication that is important for life.
Take inventory of your food and make sure you have enough non-perishable food. Keep all your fridges and freezers closed. A standard refrigerator would keep the food cold for approximately 4 hours, while a freezer would keep the contents fresh for an estimated 48 hours. Throw out food if the temperature gets higher than 40 degrees.
You should fit your house with battery-powered carbon monoxide indicators to let you know when there is a fire or a gas leak.
If you are going to be using a generator, keep it outside and away from the house. Generators are a source of noise, and if they are fuel or diesel-powered, they are a source of pollution and may cause suffocation.
Power outages, although regrettable, are things that happen occasionally. You should be as prepared as possible and try to follow the steps outlined in this article. During a power outage, an important thing to remember is to stay calm and work through it like you would any other day. You should coast through a power outage map and wait for when the power eventually comes back on.