How do you prepare for a power outage? Imagine you’re binge-watching your favorite series or doing an important assignment from work and suddenly all you hear is silence and all you see is darkness. The power has gone out. You rush outdoors to check your electric panel to see if it’s just you to only realize none of your neighbors has electricity. Does this sound familiar?
The first thing we think about is when will it be back? Is it going to take a couple of minutes? Maybe a little bit longer than that? If you’re without power for several hours — or longer — things can start to get complicated. We all take the grid for granted, at the end, electricity is almost always there with the flip of a switch. But what happens when it isn’t? How can you prepare for a power outage? Let’s find out…
Prepare for a power outage in advance
We know this might sound redundant, but it isn’t. Who wants to be searching for a flashlight amid the night on a hidden cabinet? Exactly, no one. Even though a blackout is often caused by a natural disaster such as a hurricane, thunderstorms, severe rain, flooding, or heatwaves. These outages can also be caused by squirrels, birds, or other animals. In fact, did you know that around 30% of the top causes of power outages in some states are squirrels?
Check out this map by the American Public Power Association, to know other causes.
And what does this mean for you? You should prepare for a power outage at any time – not just in hurricane season – which is a key to having peace of mind. At the end of the day, being prepared will help you stay safe and calm during tough times. Follow these 7 ideas to prepare for a power outage and have peace of mind knowing that whatever happens, you can keep yourself and yours safe.
1. Prepare a power outage emergency kit
This is one of the first things to prepare for a power outage. While you have electricity, put everything you could need in a single container. A plastic storage box or duffel bag is an excellent choice. Place the kit in an easily accessible area so you don’t have to rummage through stuff to find it when you need it.
It’s probably preferable to have this on the first floor of your house so you can avoid stairs. On this kit, forget about candles and keep flashlights strategically placed throughout the house and check the batteries regularly.
When you prepare for a power outage, you must include some emergency contacts, hospitals, shelters, libraries, and any other location that has a backup power supply. You should as well include the phone number of your close relatives. They may be willing to know you’re ok during the process. On the kit remember to have a radio that runs on batteries. Local weather and emergency alerts can be received via radio.
If you want to have a full emergency kit you better check out this website. You will have a checklist to go through to keep you safe if you need to survive in case of an emergency.
2. Keep cash in an accessible place
Always have some additional cash on hand, and keep your car tank at least half full, because ATMs, credit card machines, and gas stations may not operate during a prolonged power outage.
3. Set up a step-by-step plan
You will never know where you’ll be in your house when the electricity goes off. However, you should prepare for a power outage and design a plan where – if possible – everyone gathers in just one room. By everyone we also mean your pets. Once you decide the place you’ll fix as your “safe place” it will be easier to distribute the goods in your emergency packs, such as water, food, and flashlights.
If the power outage occurs in winter, in the middle of the night, staying closer together will generate more body heat, keeping everyone warm. Draw an evacuation plan in case of an emergency and teach your kids how to react. If things suddenly worsen and you need to evacuate, you’ll be in the best position.
4. Know your medical needs
Do you have any medical needs? Consult with your doctor about a power outage plan for electrically powered medical equipment and refrigerated drugs. If you prepare for a power outage be sure to keep in mind any medical condition. Learn how to keep medicine at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any life-saving medicines.
5. Car chargers and power banks
Stock up on batteries and other backup solutions such as power banks. Keep your laptops and cell phones charged, as well as a radio and extra batteries available in case the power goes out and you need to listen for orders from the local authority. For your mobile gadgets, keep additional batteries and a car charger on hand. This will allow you to stay up to date on news and interact with friends and family via your phone.
6. Know who to call
Let’s keep it simple. In the event of a power loss, you must notify the utility company. The meters, wires, and poles are owned by your utility company. As a result, you must call their outage reporting number or another contact number.
If you recently switched energy providers, you may be wondering who oversees power outages now. The answer is the same, your utility company. One of the key things you should prepare for a power outage is to have your utility company line handy.
Ps. You haven’t changed your electric supplier yet? What are you waiting for? Energy deregulation gives you the power to choose better electricity rates and cheaper services.
7. Prepare some activities
When you prepare for a power outage you can also think about fun things to do. The primary priority is everyone’s safety. Once that is checked off the list, boredom can rapidly set in, making everyone feel a bit less at ease. Mental well-being is really important, especially nowadays.
We usually become first bored, and then nervous when we don’t know what to do. Consider playing cards, board games, and novels to keep you – and yours – entertained. Prepare spare activities to do when lights go off. This will be also helpful to keep your phone’s battery safe in case you might need it.
These simple but important tips are essential for safeguarding yourself and your loved ones. We want to show you that electricity is a potent source that deserves our attention and respect, from powering your appliances to lighting up your house. Go On, Be Powerful!
Feel free to share your experience on how you prepare for a power outage. You can contact us if you have any doubts. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.