How-to Guide for Handling a Power Outage

Power Outages: What to Do Before, During, and After to Prepare

power outage

In the wake of extreme weather events like Hurricane Hilary, the northeast rains, and heat waves in the south, any uncertainties regarding power outages should not be taken lightly.

It could lead to dire consequences if caught off guard without a plan in place. To help ensure you’re prepared for whatever is thrown your way, it’s essential to understand what to do before, during, and after a power outage.

Before a Power Outage

The most effective way to respond to a power outage is to be prepared beforehand. Pre-outage preparation includes stocking up on items essential for survival, creating a family emergency plan, and conserving energy.

You should assemble an emergency food and water supply that will last 72 hours for your family and keep it in an easily accessible location. For more long-term outages, stock up and scale to ensure an adequate supply for weeks or months, if necessary.

Your emergency kit should include flashlights, manual can openers, extra batteries, phone chargers, cash, and non-perishable food items. To minimize your risk of food contamination, fill plastic containers with water and keep them in the refrigerator and freezer. Don’t forget to add an adequate supply of water purification tablets to your kit.

Take extra precautions if you use electronic items daily, like refrigerators, computers, and televisions. Unplug the electronics to protect them from potential surges when power is restored.

If you enter your home through the garage, store a physical house key outside of the premises in case the door opener does not function. Lastly, top off your car’s tank; power outages can shut down gas pumps, leaving you without fuel.

During a Power Outage

When the power goes out, your priority should be self-preservation. Whether it’s hot or cold out, conserve electricity by limiting the use of flashlights and portable chargers. Not only will this help you stay safe and save energy, but it may also help speed up recovery.

With food, only rely on items that require minimal or no preparation since there will be no access to kitchen appliances. To preserve your groceries and ensure your food is safe, keep your refrigerator and freezer doors shut while the power is off.

If you rely on a generator for light and power, never use it inside your residence. The carbon monoxide fumes can be dangerous. Also, be aware that generator use in a neighborhood setting can put you at risk of becoming a target.

After the Power Outage

Once the electricity is restored, inspect and discard any food exposed to extreme temperatures or has a suspicious smell, color, or texture. If your drinking water supply is compromised, contact your local health department or check your local news for updates.

Be sure to slowly and methodically restore electricity in your home to avoid potential surges that could damage your electronics or appliances. Plugging all your items in at once can also overwhelm the power grid and result in another outage.

Take Extra Precaution

The unpredictability of natural disasters can often lead to severe power outages. To avoid a stressful and potentially dangerous situation, take precautionary measures to stay ahead of the game. This means stocking up on essential supplies and preparing a family emergency plan before disaster strikes.

Above all, stay safe. Prioritize your needs and be aware of power and temperature fluctuations. Use your resources to maximize safety and stay informed. Knowledge and preparation will be the main tools to help you and your family make it through the hardest times.

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