During a power outage, an emergency plan will help protect your family and property. Most of our appliances and other necessities in our homes are powered by electricity. When a power outage occurs, it disrupts daily operations and conveniences. Since you never know when you may lose power, it’s best to be prepared in advance. Here’s a list of safety and survival tips to help cope and prepare for a power outage.
Prepare for a Power Outage by Having Alternate Light Sources Ready
If you lose power at night, your home will be completely dark. It helps to have alternate sources of light, preferably those that can store energy for extended periods.
To prepare for a power outage at night, place flashlights or battery-powered lanterns throughout your home in easy-to-access common areas. Headlamps, oil lamps, and emergency candles are also great light alternatives.
Use Your Car as a Generator
If you don’t own a generator, you can use a power inverter to turn your car into a generator. The power inverter turns direct current from your car into AC that can be used to power your appliances. A large enough unit can power appliances like the fridge while smaller power inverters can only be used to recharge your computer or power your light bulbs. Remember that the power inverter drains your car battery and should not be used long-term.
Save Your Food with Ice
Your fridge or freezer can maintain cold temperatures for a maximum of 48hrs if left closed. You may have to dispose of perishable items such as dairy and meat products after an extended power outage. Jams and other items can be salvaged by keeping them in cool, dry places such as the garage.
Prepare for a power outage by keeping ice packs in the freezer. During a blackout, transfer the ice packs to your fridge and keep both the fridge and freezer closed as much as possible.
Unplug Your Electronics
There are sometimes power surges when the power grid is restored. These power surges can damage appliances and electronics. When the power goes out, unplug everything except for one lamp so that you can tell when the power comes back on. If you operate a generator, carefully read the manual before plugging in your electronics.
Fuel Up Your Car to Prepare for a Power Outage
To best prepare for a power outage, keep your car well-fueled ahead of an expected storm. A car is an essential part of your survival kit. During a power outage in the winter, your car may be the only heated space you have.
You can use the power sockets in your car to charge your cell phones, and it may be the only form of emergency transport you can access. It is also good to have extra gas cans filled and stored at home. During a power outage, the fueling stations may not manage to pump gas if they use electric pumps.