Prepare Your Home and Family for Power Outages
Some people love a good power outage. They get out the hurricane lamps, break out a few board games and enjoy some quality family time without the intrusion of electronics. However, power outages can make it impossible to get your car out of the garage, and they can leave you with hundreds of dollars in wasted food if the refrigerator is off too long. Here is the information you need to know to ensure that you are prepared to weather a power outage without any serious problems.
Have an Emergency Kit
What do you need to get through a power outage with minimal inconvenience? Gather the supplied ahead of time and you will be able get through even an extended power outage that lasts a few days or longer.
- Illumination – flashlights and camping lights are excellent choices. Hurricane lamps that burn lamp oil are also a great choice
- Communication – have a battery operated radio on hand, and it’s also wise to have a fully charged cell phone
- First aid supplies – someone may get hurt, so have bandages and other supplies on hand
- Food – Maintain a stock of bottled water and canned food or snacks for the family
The Most Important Appliances
The most important appliances in your home are the refrigerator, garage door and your HVAC. What will you do when the power goes out and you cannot use these appliances? One option is to buy a generator the next time you see a good sale. Don’t wait until a storm is brewing because they will sell out and be sold at premium prices. Buy the generator ahead of time to keep these major appliances running.
If you don’t have a generator, then plan on heading out to buy several bags of ice if the power goes out. Drop the bagged ice in your freezer and then tape the door shut. This is strictly to serve as a visual reminder to family members that the door is not to be opened. If you keep the door tightly closed with extra bags of ice, then the food will last much longer. In the winter, you can keep your family warm with space heaters. In the summer, you can open windows to let the breeze come through and cool your home.
Garage doors can be opened manually, but it’s important to know how to work the mechanism. If the garage door is your primary entrance, or your car is in the garage and you need to get it out, you will have to know how to open the door without power. Before an outage, learn how to disconnect the opener and lift the door manually. You can also invest in an opener that has a battery backup system. This will allow you to open and close the door without plugging it into a generator.
Whether you enjoy the occasional power outage or dread the moment, it’s still going to be a serious inconvenience. Ensure that you are prepared by taking these steps ahead of time. Then, you can make the outage an adventure instead of a nightmare.