How to Prepare for a Power Outage

Downed Power Line - power outage

When the power goes out, it’s important to be prepared. Unexpected power outages can happen at any time, due to extreme weather or a variety of other causes, and it’s important to have a power outage preparedness plan in place. In this blog post, we will discuss what you need to do to prepare for a power outage, and what you should do when the power goes out. We’ll also provide some tips on how to stay safe during a power outage.

Prepare for a Power Outage by Having Emergency Supplies on Hand

You never know when the power lines will go down and power will go out, so it’s important to be prepared ahead of time. That means having some basic emergency supplies in your home or car at all times. Here are some things you’ll need during a power outage for your emergency supply kit:

  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Bottled water for the whole family
  • Candles and matches
  • A battery-powered radio
  • Car charger for phone and/or portable charger
  • A first aid kit
  • Non-perishable food items
  • Cooler and ice
  • Food thermometer
  • Emergency contact information
  • Extra cash

Prepare for Personal Needs

Some people may need specific medical devices and supplies during power outages in addition to what’s in your emergency aid kit, such as those who rely on oxygen tanks or those who have a medical device that requires power.

If you rely on any type of life-sustaining equipment, be sure to discuss your needs with your doctor and family members. It’s also important to have a plan in place for how you will get medication or treatment during a power outage.

Consider what your children or pets may need. Make sure you’re prepared with baby formula or pet food if necessary. Have entertainment such as books, games, and pet toys ready to go.

If someone in your family relies on electricity to operate a wheelchair lift or other mobility device, make sure there is a backup plan for how that person will get around during an outage. You should also have a plan for charging the battery of this equipment when power returns.

What to Do When the Power Goes Out

When the power goes out, it’s important to take some basic safety precautions. Here are some things you should do:

Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. This will help keep food cold and fresh for longer. Keep a thermometer in your refrigerator and freezer. This will help you keep track of the temperature so that food stays fresh after an outage.

Turn off or disconnect any electrical equipment you were using when the power went out, especially sensitive electronics like computers and televisions to avoid damage from voltage surges.

More Power Outage Tips

Report power outages right away. If you lose power, be sure to report it to your local utility company. This will help them track and fix the problem faster.

If you have a generator for backup power, use it safely. Follow the instructions that come with your generator carefully. Never run a generator indoors or in an enclosed space, like a garage. Make sure the generator is far away from any open windows or doors. Proper generator use is especially important during long-term power outages.

Never use grills, camp stoves, or other outdoor cooking devices inside your home to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. These items may produce carbon monoxide, which can be deadly.

Be careful with candles. Keep them away from curtains, furniture, and other flammable materials. Make sure you have plenty of water to put out any fires that may start.

When the Power Comes Back On

Once the power comes back on, there are a few things you should do.

  • Turn on all of your electrical equipment one at a time. This will help avoid voltage surges that can damage electronics.
  • Check the temperature of your refrigerator and freezer. If they’re too warm, throw away any food that may have been exposed to unsafe temperatures.
  • Restock any items that were used, such as water, non-perishable food items, batteries, or first aid materials.
  • Be wary of downed power lines as you navigate your neighborhood.

Power Outage FAQs

When is the best time to report a power outage?

Report your power outage as soon as possible. This will help utility companies respond faster when they know how many people are affected. Plus, it’s good to let them know so that you can get updates on when the power might come back on in your area.

What’s the difference between a power outage and a brownout?

A power outage is when the entire area loses power. A brownout is when the voltage in an area decreases, which can cause problems with electrical equipment.

Can I use my generator during a power outage?

You should use your generator safely. Follow the instructions that come with your generator carefully. Never run a generator or portable generator indoors or in an enclosed space, like a garage. Make sure the generator is far away from any open windows or doors.

I have medical equipment that requires power. What should I do during a power outage?

If you rely on medical equipment, it’s a good idea to have alternate power sources available. This could include battery backup systems or portable generators. If your device requires electricity to operate, talk with your doctor or healthcare provider about what you can do if the power goes out in your area and how long it will take for them to get power back up and running.

What should I do if I see a downed power line?

Never touch or go near downed power lines. If you see one, call your local utility company immediately. They will send someone to take care of it. Remember, always stay away from any wires that are down – even if they don’t appear to be energized.

What should I do if my power is out for an extended period?

If you lose power and it’s not restored within a day or two, you may need to find alternate ways to get food, water, and other essentials. This could include going to a friend or family member’s house, visiting local shelters, or stocking up on supplies ahead of time. Remember to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning by using generators and other outdoor cooking devices safely.

How do I know if my food is safe to eat?

If the power is out for less than four hours, most food in your refrigerator or freezer will be safe to eat. If the power is out for more than four hours, throw away any food that has been exposed to unsafe temperatures (40 degrees+).

How can I stay cool if the air conditioning goes out?

There are a few things you can do to stay cool if the power goes out and your air conditioning unit stops working. First, try to stay in an area of your home that is shaded. If possible, open up windows to let in some fresh air. You can also use fans to help circulate the air around your home.

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3 thoughts on “How to Prepare for a Power Outage”

    1. I removed that since the wording was a little confusing. If food has been sitting at temps above 40 degrees for an extended period of time (including 1 hour+), there is a high probability that bacterial growth can occur. COULD you eat it? It’s risky. Have a thermometer on hand to check anything that could be at risk. Frozen food isn’t at risk. It’s only at risk if it goes from frozen to thawed and hits the temp danger zone. If not vacuum sealed, that also is a good reason to double check everything is safe.

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