It may be due to bad weather, scheduled maintenance on the power grid, or even because of a car accident, but at some point, you will lose power to your home. Don’t be caught off-guard. Make a plan to deal with an emergency situation and take steps to prepare for a power outage.
Prepare Your Family for a Power Outage
Teach everyone in your home where to find and how to operate emergency equipment like flashlights and the generator. Flashlights should have working batteries and be stored with packages of fresh batteries. Use a generator outdoors for safety and make sure you have fuel so it’s ready to use when needed. Purchase a few cell phone charging banks so you will be able to charge your devices when the power goes out.
Invest in Reliable Emergency Supplies
You never know when a power outage will strike or how long it will last, so be prepared by having more than you need on hand. Emergency supplies that you’ll want to have available include nonperishable food items, plenty of bottled water, sanitation supplies, essential medications, and a battery-powered or hand-crank radio. You should also have a well-stocked first-aid kit in your home and car, and a charged walkie talkie for everyone in your household.
Stay Informed to Prepare for a Power Outage
Make sure that you are signed up for any community text notifications and install local weather-alert apps so that you will be kept up-to-date on storm conditions and important news. These alert services are usually free and can help you be better prepared for a power outage.
Keep Your Medicine Safe
If you, your family members, or your pets rely on medicine that needs to be refrigerated, make sure you have a way to keep them cool if the power goes off. If you have a generator, use it to power your refrigerator or a smaller dorm-size fridge. Alternatively, keep a cooler or insulated bag on hand to help preserve medications.
Protect Your Devices During an Outage
If you lose power, disconnect electronic devices from the power outlets, even if they are plugged into a surge protector. Doing this will help to prevent damage caused by a power surge when the electricity is restored. Make it a habit to store important documents and photos on a flash drive or in the cloud to prevent losing them if the power surges when your laptop and phone are plugged in.
If you lose power, make sure your fridge and freezer doors stay closed to keep your food safe for longer. Your fridge will stay cold for about four hours after losing power and your freezer for about 48 hours if it’s full. However, these times are reduced each time you open the doors.