Losing the power in your home can be very scary. While we tend to think of the power going out during the winter months, it can actually go out any time of the year. During the summer, a heatwave can overload the electrical grid and cause a major outage. During the winter, power outages are usually caused by large rain, wind, or snow storms.
There’s no need to worry about power outages as long as you are prepared for them. Below are a few tips on how to prepare yourself and your home for a power outage.
- Designate an area to store flash lights, extra batteries, candles, and matches. A plug-in flashlight is a great option because it remains charged until you need it. When purchasing flashlights or lanterns, consider ones that use LED bulbs. They have a much longer battery life.
- Become familiar with your circuit breakers and know where they are located. Your outage could simply be a tripped breaker switch.
- Consider investing in a battery-powered radio or television. Cell phone batteries will only last so long and it’s important to stay updated on the latest weather and news, especially during a storm.
- Place the emergency number of your electric utility company in an accessible location. If a power line is down near your house, you need to contact the electric company and let them know.
- Keep an ice chest handy to store any medication or special foods that must remain cold. Freezer ice packs are critical and you should have some ready at all times.
- Store a few days of water in a large container. You need about one gallon of drinking water per day/per person. This is especially important if you use electricity for your water, such as an electric pump.
- Consider investing in a back-up generator.
- Make sure your home’s first aid kit is fully stocked.
- Create a home disaster plan for you and your family.
By following these tips, you and your family will be ready and safe if your power goes out. Additionally, consider the following tips when your power actually goes out.
- Turn off any lights that were left on when the power went out. Keep one light on so you will know when the power has been restored.
- Try and locate a neighbor to determine if the power outage includes your neighborhood or larger community.
- To help preserve the food in your fridge and freezer, keep the doors closed. Only open if necessary and eat the most perishable foods first.
- Unplug major appliances and any smaller appliances that were on when the power went out. This could include clothes dryers, televisions, radios, toasters, clocks, computer printers, and computers. If too many appliances turn back on at the same time, you could overload your circuits.
- Save your heat! Heat escapes homes quickly. Make sure all doors and windows are shut and secure. Consider placing towels below doors to retain your home’s heat.
- Only dial 911 in a true emergency. A power outage is stressful so keep yourself busy by reading books or playing games with your family. Emergency lines should stay clear for true emergencies.
Power outages are unavoidable. By following these simple tips, you’ll be ready when they happen. Contact one of our electricians at Main Stream Electric if you have any questions or concerns about power outages. We’re here to help keep your home and your family safe.