It’s never fun when a power outage strikes. We get out the candles, tell spooky stories and realize just how much we’ve come to rely on electricity. But, I bet you haven’t really taken the time to prepare for a power outage before. There are some easy ways to protect your home and the people within it, and it requires a little extra consideration.
Let’s start by looking at a power outage in a winter setting, as the cold nights will start to close in soon enough. If your system goes out of action and you’ve got no heating, it could be a real problem. Something like a space heater is an option, but it can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning without adequate ventilation. As a bare minimum, eliminate drafts from your windows and gather everyone into one room to keep it warm.
Before it even gets to the point of a power outage, you want to have thought about portable generators. There are loads of different types on the market, and they’ll keep your power going for a certain number of hours. It might not be enough to run everything, but your most crucial appliances will continue to work for a little longer. There are lots of different types, and reading the reviews at planbprep.com helped me avoid making a mistake with this.
We’re going to take some advice from lifehacker.com with this next tip. Turn off your HVAC system when the power starts to flicker. It’s noted by them that frequent power cycles can be bad for compressors. Also, they mention the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning once more, which is a very important consideration.
As for lighting, there are a lot of options available to you. I’m sure you’ll be equipped with plenty of candles and flashlights to keep you going, and make sure the latter is filled with working batteries. You might want to go one step further with things like solar lights and glow sticks. If you’re going to be resorting to candles on a regular basis, be wary of the kids’ safety.
In terms of your fridge and freezer, that food is going to start to raise in temperature after a long outage. This is where you’ll do well to invest in an ice chest that can keep your most important goods cold for longer. When you’re prioritizing what stays chilled, be sensible about it. Any medications that require a cold temperature will come first, followed by food you really want to keep. It might even be worth turning off your fridge altogether if the outage sticks around, as carbon monoxide poisoning is a risk once again.
Of course, please don’t forget the obvious stuff. Make sure you check to see that you haven’t just tripped a circuit somewhere in the first instance. Call the power company and get an estimate on when the power might come back. Keep a first aid kit handy in case someone gets injured walking around in the dark. As long as you’ve followed all of these tips, you and your home should be just fine when it comes to the next power outage.