What should you do during an extended power outage? We rely on electricity so much in everything we do, from keeping our lights on to watching TV and operating our appliances. This can be a dangerous situation for those of us who don’t know how to cope without electrical power. Here are some safety tips to help get you through it until the lights are back on.
Make Sure Your Food Remains Edible
One of the biggest problems with power outages is the spoilage of food kept in the refrigerator and freezer. It is always a good idea to keep a supply of non-perishable food that does not require cooking in a microwave or on a stove for just such occasions. You could also get a small camp stove if you must cook your non-perishable food.
For food in your refrigerator, keep these things in mind:
- Use food in the refrigerator right away. The refrigerator will only keep food cold for about four hours as long as the doors are shut.
- Use food from the freezer within 48 hours. That is how long a full freezer will keep things cold.
- Only use non-perishable food after you’ve used food from the refrigerator and freezer.
Keep Your Appliances Safe
With your appliances, you’ll want to do the following:
- Turn off and unplug everything that uses electricity. Power surges can damage equipment if it is still plugged in when the power comes back on.
- Leave one light switch in the “on” position, so you will know when you have power again.
Weatherproof Yourself and Your Family
One of the dangers of a power outage is that it can occur in very hot or cold weather, putting you and your family at risk for injury.
- In hot weather, keep a cooler full of ice and bottled water, drink water frequently to prevent heat-related injuries. Soak wash cloths in the cold, melted ice water and apply to your face and neck as needed to keep cool.
- In cold weather, bundle up in multiple layers of clothing. Huddling together with others for body head is also helpful in very cold conditions. If you have a real fireplace, you can use it as long as you are sure it and the chimney are clean and the house is well-ventilated.
Engage in Advance Preparation
You never know when you might get hit with a storm that will produce a power outage. Keeping a few things on hand to use in such cases will help make the outage much more bearable. Flashlights with fresh batteries are essential. A stash of cash and extra medications is very helpful. A camp stove can not only cook food for you, it can also boil water to decontaminate it if your city’s water supply has been compromised. A generator will make things at your house run much more closely to normal during the power outage.
Follow these tips, and you should get through the power outage safely and with minimal inconvenience. The more you know and the more you prepare for this possibility, the safer and better off you and your family will be until everything is up and running again.
The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.