How to Prepare Your Home and Family for Power Outages
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All over the world, power outages happen all the time. Some of them are scheduled, some of them are due to weather, and some are due to lack of finances to keep the power running. Whatever the reason may be, having a system in place in the event of a power outage is important to keeping you and your family happy and healthy for however long it takes to get the lights back on. There are a lot of things that you can do to prepare for these situations, and here are some of the best options to ensure that you are prepared for the event to take place, especially if the blackout becomes particularly long.
Disaster kits can be lifesavers
If the outage is planned, or caused by inclimate weather, there is the possibility that it is going to stay that way for a longer period of time. So, no matter what the emergency may be, be ready with a disaster supply kit, or as some people word it, a bug-out bag. This kit should include everything you and your family may need to get through the power outages. Things like water (one gallon per person per day for a minimum of three days - not including pets), at least a three day supply of non-perishable food items, tools like can openers and flashlights, and extra batteries and portable chargers are going to be essential for ensuring comfort and safety for all members of your family.
However, it is important to note that if the outage was caused by some natural disaster, waiting it out may not be the best idea in terms of safety. If you have to evacuate, please do so. The last thing you want is to be stranded in the dark with no power, heat or air, and food or water for many days at a time. Have a plan set in place in case you do have to leave so you know what you will do and where you will go.
Watch the Food
When the power does go out, and you do not have to evacuate, make a note of the time at which the outage occurred. Because, once the power has gone out, the fridge is like a ticking time bomb. All of your food will slowly begin to become unsafe. If you do not open the door, the food is likely to remain cold for about four hours, and a full freezer will maintain its temperature for around 48 hours if the door stays closed. If you are questioning whether the food is safe or not, keep a thermometer inside your fridge and freezer to keep an eye on the temperature inside. If there is anything you have doubts about, it is probably best to just throw it away. This is also a great time to spoil the kids and eat up all of the ice cream and popsicles before they melt.
Let There be Light
Of course, when the power is out, it will be dark. So, having a plan for keeping the rooms lit up is probably a good idea. Keeping a stock pile of cheap candles on hand is one way to keep the light in. Some good candles for this are tea candles that you can usually buy in very large quantities, and they don’t emit odor so you will not burn up any nice candles. Another, and slightly more practical option though, is to keep some LED flashlights handy and extra batteries to keep them working. If you do not have LED flashlights, regular ones work just as well. LED flashlights do save battery power though, so it may be a good idea to invest in a few just in case.
Staying cool or warm can be a real cause for concern in many different regions. Hot climates are going to need to stay cool, and cold climates are going to need access to heat. This can be extremely serious without proper preparation. In those warmer climates, keeping a stash of battery operated fans on hand is a good idea to keep air circulating and flowing. Though nothing beats the AC, these things propped up in a window can make all the difference when you feel like you might melt to death. In the cooler climates, having some instant hand/foot warmers, a fireplace, and battery powered space heaters can drastically change how you feel in powerless conditions.
Another great idea for both those who live in more extreme climates is to have a backup generator installed to avoid suffering through any of this. You can find backup generators online or visit Alltimepower to analyze your needs more thoroughly. This way, you can avoid suffering in either extreme.
Prepare Things to Stay Occupied
Now that all safety concerns have been accounted for, it is time to ensure that you are mentally prepared to ride out this power outage. Time to make sure you have a stockpile of entertaining things to do without power. If you have kids, this may be the only thing that keeps you from killing them for driving you crazy. Think about things like cards, board games, and books to keep minds and hands occupied. Surviving without TV should not be impossible, so planning for that option is probably a good idea, not just for your sanity, but everyone else’s. It is also a good idea, if you have advanced warning, to make sure every electronic device like a cell phone or tablet is completely charged before the outage. That way, there is at least a little time filled watching Youtube videos and scrolling Facebook.
Whatever you choose to do to prepare for power outages is up to you, but consider some of these tips when doing so. You want to be sure that everyone and everything will be accounted for and that this will have very little impact on your life. It is important to be ready in the event that you need to get by without power, so start prepping now.