Must-Have Items and Tips to Get Through Power Outages
Gather your power outage supplies now and keep them within easy reach to avoid any last-minute scrambling when the lights go out. Additionally, it's sensible to take proactive steps to prepare for potential outages and consider actions to take if one occurs to ensure a smooth experience for you and your family.
Remember that power outages go beyond mere inconvenience, potentially resulting in costly repairs and risks to you and your loved ones. Following the tips listed below, you can safeguard your finances and maintain some essential conveniences during a blackout.
Common Reasons for the Power Outage
Extreme weather stands as the primary cause of power outages. Heatwaves, freezing rain, flooding, severe wind, and other weather-related forces disrupt power generation and transmission. Alongside this, infrastructure failure, human error, and animal interference consistently contribute to significant power outage occurrences.
How To Plan for a Power Outage
While most power outages are short-lived, some can stretch for days or weeks, leaving you without essential utilities like heating, lighting, hot water, and running water. During these times, it's really tough to stay informed without a battery-powered, as it makes monitoring news broadcasts impossible.
It's crucial to prepare in advance to protect your home and family. Taking the following basic steps can significantly reduce the impact of a power outage:
Identify the Potential Risks and Get Prepared
You should be informed about the risks specific to your community and region to better prepare for a power outage. For home preparation, consider installing a non-electric standby stove or heater. Opt for heating units that don't rely on electric components to function.
Individuals with wood-burning fireplaces should clean the chimneys annually to prevent creosote build-up and potential chimney fires. If the standby heating unit relies on the house gas or oil supply, engage a skilled and certified technician to connect it with shut-off valves.
Before using an emergency generator during a power outage, consult furnace, lighting fixture, and appliance manufacturers regarding power necessities and ideal operating procedures.
Design an Emergency Plan
Create an emergency plan for your household, ensuring everyone knows what to do. Consider the possibility of family members being apart when the power goes out. Discuss potential scenarios and appropriate actions for home, work, or school emergencies. Prepare a list of tasks in advance and secure valuable family documents, like birth certificates, financial documents, insurance policies, passports, and wills, in waterproof containers.
Select a suitable out-of-town contact to serve as a central point of communication during an emergency. Practice the plan with the whole family annually, and ensure everyone has a copy of it kept close at hand.
Secure Your Electronics
Since power outages can bring spikes and surges that may harm your gear, you should protect your electronics. While cloud services might safeguard some data, your gaming PC or desktop workstation needs extra care, as replacing them can be costly and frustrating.
Spikes are a real possibility during rough weather, with power lines falling due to ice and snow, trees causing damage, and transformers sparking. That cheap surge protector in your home won't offer sufficient protection in such scenarios.
Instead, opt for battery backups or UPS units to safeguard your hardware. Besides defending against spikes and surges, these units take over the load for connected devices during power drops. This offers you sufficient time to shut down your equipment correctly without risking damage or data loss.
Take an Inventory of Electricity-Dependent Items
Create a list of electricity-dependent items you require. Prepare batteries and alternative power sources like portable chargers or power banks to meet your needs during a power outage. Ensure every household member has a flashlight. Check if your home phone will function during an outage and assess the battery backup duration.
Identify Your Medical Needs
Be aware of your medical requirements. Consult your medical provider for a power outage plan concerning electricity-dependent medical devices and refrigerated medicines. Inquire about medication storage at higher temperatures and seek guidance for life-critical medications.
Essential Items To Prepare for Short-Term Power Outages
Having short-term power outage supplies can help you and your family stay calm during stressful times. Although the power restoration time is uncertain, essential items that you should have within the initial hours of an outage include the following:
Flashlights and Lanterns
Have a high-quality flashlight for every family member. Think about getting several battery-powered lanterns to illuminate the main room or specific home areas. A headlamp comes in handy during tasks that require both hands.
Using the plumbing at home might be safe or unsafe during a power outage, especially in long-term outages. For short-term outages, having a ready water supply is essential. Make sure every person has a minimum of one gallon of water. And if you have pets, ensure they have sufficient water too.
Following a power outage, the refrigerated food remains safe for up to four hours if it stays cold. If the power returns within this time frame, you won't have to discard perishables. Similarly, the same applies to your freezer; frozen foods remain safe for 24 hours if it's half-full or 48 hours if the freezer is full.
However, keeping non-perishable foods that doesn’t necessitate heating is advisable. Consider adding tea bags and instant coffee to your power outage supplies. Also, have backup dry food or canned options for your pet's needs.
Games and Books
You don't have to keep games and books with your other power outage supplies, but it's a good idea to have them in the house for such situations. Keep a selection of unread books and enjoyable board games for the whole family.
First Aid Kit
Whether there's a power outage or not, always keep a first aid kit. If you already have one at home, replenish it regularly with sufficient bandages and essential first-aid supplies. You can also include additional essentials for power outages, like flashlight batteries or matches for lighting candles.
Portable Phone Charger
A portable phone charger is a must-have modern gadget. It ensures you can stay updated on weather and safety conditions while keeping in touch with family and friends. Choose a gadget with a flashlight and two chargers, compatible with Apple and Android devices, to make phone charging convenient for the whole family during the outage.
Cash in Small Bills
Keep cash in small bills as an essential precaution during a power outage. While nearby ATMs might be unavailable, the local amenities and stores may be unable to accept checks and cards or checks. Having small bills on hand helps you access basic amenities without needing to travel far. It also helps you manage transactions smoothly even if stores are low on change.
If you have household members under prescription medications, it's crucial to avoid running low on their supply whenever possible. Always keep at least three days' worth of each medication, as pharmacies might be inaccessible during a power outage.
Essential Items To Prepare for Long-Term Power Outages
Additional supplies might be necessary when a power outage extends beyond the short-term threshold. Here is where the following essential supplies come into play:
Safe Drinking Water and Food Supplies
Although your water supply may not fail during a prolonged power outage, it remains a possibility. Humans need around half a gallon of water daily to stay healthy. It's crucial to have ample clean drinking water for you, your family, and your pets before any disaster occurs.
While food is not as indispensable as water in the short term, it becomes a top priority during an extended power outage. Ensure you have enough non-perishable food, such as canned meats, vegetables, fruits, fruit bars, peanut butter, granola, and other high-energy options that don't need refrigeration. If you rely on an electric stove, remember it's unusable without home backup power.
Backup Power Solutions
After securing food and water supplies, the next priority is ensuring a practical backup power source that's easy to access and charge. Zendure solar generators with battery storage provide an excellent solution, offering a reserve supply of electricity and the ability to generate additional power during sunny hours.
This backup power option gives you a dependable fail-safe for power outages. Additionally, these batteries offer higher capacities at affordable prices, enabling you to run your entire household with a solar generator and outlast the blackout. For those interested in solar power investments, exploring Zendure solar generators is a must.
Have LED Lanterns
When night falls during an outage, darkness can become a real challenge, especially in the early winter evenings. Simple tasks like walking to the kitchen become hazardous, with slips and bumps leading to unnecessary injuries. Thus, always have LED lanterns strategically placed around the house to tackle this problem.
The beauty of these lanterns is that they are cost-effective, consume minimal power, and the batteries last for months. Plus, they are portable, allowing you to move around the house quickly. Not only does this enhance safety, but it also eliminates the need to use your phone's flashlight app, which tends to drain the battery.
Consider getting one or more coolers to keep food or medication cold. Buy ice from the local stores and use it to fill the coolers. Doing this protects the items inside against water damage. Alternatively, add ice to your freezer or refrigerator to extend the safety of perishable foods.
Tips To Safely Survive Power Outages
- Keep freezers and refrigerators shut.
- Avoid using an oven or gas stove to heat your home.
- Unplug appliances and electronics to prevent damage from electrical surges.
- Make contingency plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical gadgets.
- Opt for natural light over electric lighting.
- Use a generator, but away from windows or outdoors.
In conclusion, preparing yourself and your household for power outages is essential, even if they are infrequent where you live. Natural disasters can strike unexpectedly, leading to prolonged power outages. Even a short-term outage of a few hours can be anxiety-inducing if you're unprepared. Reviewing the above list will assist you in creating a comprehensive power outage kit to be ready for any situation.