Some power outages come with an advanced warning but others happen unexpectedly. Being prepared can help you prevent damage to your home and belongings, and keep your family safe and calm. Here are a few tips so you’ll be one step ahead the next time the power goes out.
Prepare a Power Outage Emergency Kit
When an outage strikes, you don’t want to have to wander in the dark looking for things you need. Purchase a ready-made kit or build your own with items necessary for surviving without electricity. Gather your supplies and store them in one container. Keep this in a place in the house that is easily and safely accessible. Below are some items that should be included in an emergency kit.
- First Aid Kit: Make sure the contents are up-to-date and that the kit is well-stocked.
- Flashlights: Have at least one flashlight per member of the household. If they’re battery-operated, keep enough batteries on hand to last a couple of days. Or choose hand-cranked flashlights, which you power yourself by turning a lever.
- Radio: In a power outage, the internet will also be down. If that happens, emergency radio could be your only source of information. During a crisis, national agencies and local media provide radio updates on weather and safety conditions.
- Blankets: Power outages often happen during freezing weather. Having blankets will keep you warm and comfortable.
- Power Bank: Even if the internet is down, a charged smartphone will come in handy for a variety of reasons.
- Portable Camping Stove: Without electricity, a propane-powered stove provides a way to heat food.
Store Drinking Water and Non-Perishable Foods
Be prepared with clean water and non-perishable foods. The general recommendation is to have a gallon of drinking water per person per day. Of course, it’s best that you store as much as you can. For emergencies, purchase a non-electric water filtration system. Although most non-perishable foods are high in preservatives, they’re useful during a crisis. Stock up on canned and dried foods, because you can never be sure how long the outage will last.
Invest in a Generator to Prepare for a Power Outage
A backup power source, such as an emergency generator, will provide electrical energy in your home even without connection to the grid. Choose a standby generator for your home that automatically turns on when the power goes out or purchase a more budget-friendly option: a gasoline-powered portable generator.
Keep Your Family Entertained
Experiencing a power outage can be a very stressful situation, especially for young children. Having something fun to do will keep family members occupied and stress levels down. Being busy helps the time pass more quickly. Without TV, video game consoles, and other modern means of entertainment, turn to old-fashioned fun. Board games, a deck of cards, or sharing stories will help you relax and keep calm through the situation.