A power outage can happen at any time with little or no warning. An outage can occur due to weather, equipment failures or other unexplainable reasons, and when the power goes out, all you can do is wait for it to be restored. Plan ahead and prepare your home for an outage so the next time you are left in the dark, you’ll be ready.
Invest in Chargers
A 12-volt charger for your cell phone or an inverter that you can plug into your car then plug a 110 plug into can be a lifeline during a power outage. During an extended outage, you are certain to need to charge your cell phone, your laptop or other electronics. Investing in a solar-powered charger is also a good idea and is a great item to add to your emergency kit.
When it goes dark, the first thing you will want is light. Make sure you have plenty of emergency lighting to get you through a night (or nights) in the dark. Flashlights (don’t forget the batteries!), rechargeable lanterns, oil lamps and solar-powered lights are all good options to keep on hand and in an emergency kit for when the power goes out.
Be sure to put flashlights in accessible locations in each room of your home. Know where the emergency lights are. When the power goes out and all is dark is definitely not the time to be feeling around, trying to find lights.
Know Where the Breaker Box is Located
When a power outage occurs, it is usually recommended that you throw the main breaker in your home if the outage will be for an extended period of time. This keeps the power from surging suddenly and damaging appliances or electronic items when it comes back on. Keep items such as televisions, DVD players, game systems and computers plugged into surge protector power strips. When you throw the main breaker after the power goes off, be sure to turn off all the power strips also.
If you don’t want to throw the main breaker, simply turn off individual breakers as well as individual power strips, though you might want to keep one light or a radio on in order to know when the power comes back on.
Fill empty milk jugs three-quarters full of water then place in the freezer. In the event of an extended power outage, you can transfer frozen jugs into a cooler to keep food cool. Limit opening your freezer and fridge to keep the cold in. Generally, food that is in your fridge or freezer will be fine as long as an outage doesn’t last more than four hours. Once most food warms up to 40 degrees or higher for more than two hours it should be discarded.