How to Prepare for a Power Outage
Almost everything you use in the house requires electricity, from entertainment to cooking to communicating. You can easily forget how vital electricity is until there is a power outage. It might be challenging to understand the effects of natural disasters, especially on power. Hurricanes, heavy rains, and snow can cause power outages. You can also experience a power outage due to an aging power grid. You can prepare for a power outage when a significant storm is approaching or after heavy rainfall. Here are ways to get through hours or days of power outages.
Get a Generator
A generator could be a worthwhile investment if you are stuck in the house without power. Consider buying a generator if you anticipate power outages, especially if they might last for days. A generator can keep your lights on, fridge and freezer running, and personal devices like phones and laptops charged for days. The time that a generator keeps you powered is based on its size and its power. Consider investing in a powerful generator to power up your home during prolonged power outages. A gasoline-powered generator can hook up gas supply or connect to external gas tanks in your home. Battery-powered generators don’t emit exhaust fumes. Remember to adhere to the safety instructions provided by the manufacturer when using a generator to avoid accidents.
Stock Up on Batteries
Ensure that you have a sufficient supply of batteries for emergency needs during a power outage. Stock a range of battery sizes and ensure that you fully charge them for reliability. Have spare batteries for your flashlights and radios. It would be best to stock enough batteries for all the appliances that can run on battery backup, including smoke detectors and clocks.
Check Flashlights and Radios
Another way to prepare for power outages is to ensure that portable radios and flashlights are functional. You can also purchase replacement or supplemental radios and flashlights if necessary. Trusty radios and flashlights are necessary during a power outage. It’s wise to avoid candles because they are not as safe as flashlights. A battery-powered radio ensures that you remain connected to evacuation or emergency alerts when you cannot watch the TV. Ensure that you have a flashlight for everyone in your home.
Be Safe with a CO Detector
Power outages usually cause carbon monoxide deaths. People often use gas stoves, fireplaces, and other heating types that burn to produce carbon monoxide to stay warm during power outages. Therefore, you can quickly die of carbon monoxide, especially if you don’t have a CO detector. It would be wise to get a battery-powered CO detector when there is a power outage and you are using an emergency heating source.
Don’t Wreck the TV
When power is back, it might create power surges that can destroy your appliances and sensitive electronics. Therefore, it’s wise to unplug all appliances and gadgets that contain electronic components to protect them from power surges. You can switch on one light that will notify you when the power is back.
Put Together Power Outage Emergency Kit
The last thing you want to do is scramble for supplies during a power outage. It’s not safe to reach into closets and drawers when you cannot see anything. Therefore, assemble everything you require in one container or bag when you still have power. Place the bag or container in an easily accessible location. It’s also wise to place the container on the house’s main level to avoid the stairs. Let everyone know where the power outage emergency kit is placed for safety ad easy retrieval. The emergency kit should contain the following:
- A whistle to signal for assistance
- A first-aid kit
- Battery-operated fans and flashlights
- Hand sanitizers and baby wipes
- Car charger
- Garbage bags for sanitation
Gas Up Your Car
Your vehicle can be a critical part of your power outage survival tactics. It can be your charging system, emergency transport, and the only heated space you might have. Therefore, ensure that your fuel tank is full before storms. You can also fill gas cans if you have them. Gas stations cannot pump gas when there is a power outage.
Stock Up on Water
Your municipal water supply is likely to continue functioning even after a power outage. However, sometimes it might quit supplying water, especially if the water treatment facility gets inundated by floodwater. Also, you might not get a water supply during an outage if you have a well that uses electricity to pump water. Therefore, store enough water that can get your household running through several days. Consider water usage in your household to ensure that you have enough storage for all bathing, cleaning, pets, cooking, and personal hygiene. You can store drinking water in clean water bottles and remember to date the containers. You can also fill up your water tub and ensure that it’s well sealed to prevent water loss.
Stock Non-Perishable Foods
Stores might run out of food after the weather forecast announcement. Therefore, keep your pantry stocked with enough shelf-stable foods that won’t require cooking. For instance, buy many nuts, powered and evaporated milk, canned and dried meat, seeds and peanuts, dried fruits, and cereals. Remember to place the scissors and can opener in an easily accessible location. Since you will want to buy non-perishable foods in bulk, ensure that you pay attention to the expiration date.
Protect Your Pipes
Your pipes are prone to freezing and bursting in a power outage. Insufficient insulation leaves your pipes prone to freezing during the cold months. If you are worried that your pipes might freeze, shut off your main water valves and open all faucets to empty pipes. Find out before the storm if you are unsure of where the main shut-off valves are located.
Cash is vital during a blackout. Some stores may remain open, but they might not accept credit card purchases. Also, cash machines might be on strike during a power outage. Therefore, it would pay to have emergency cash in hand to enable you to make essential purchases during the power outage.
Install a Heavy-Duty Freezer
Enough water and food to take you through the power outage are essential. However, you will be out of luck if you stock up a lot of food, only for it to go bad in the fridge days later. An effective way to keep your food cold for a long time during a power outage is to invest in a chest freezer. A heavy-duty freezer is heavily insulated, holding its chill for longer.
Sufficient Heating Fuel
Think about how to stay warm during a power outage. Even gas-powered furnaces need electricity to operate. You can install a battery backup for your gas fireplace. Stock up on enough firewood if you have a wood stove. Avoid using propane heaters in the house.
You can use these tips to prepare for a power outage in Western Washington. Talk to our qualified and experienced professionals for solutions and ideas for surviving a power outage. We also have professionals specializing in heating, water, cooling, and electrical services. Call Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning to learn more about ways of surviving a power outage in Western Washington.