Power failures may frequently accompany hurricanes and other natural disasters. They can often leave you in a vulnerable situation, without electricity, communication, refrigeration, or access to the outside world. Power outages can make you feel trapped in your own home. They often come without warning, and extreme weather conditions can make them last for days. However, there is no excuse for being unprepared for such a situation, especially if you live in an area that is prone to power outages. Follow this helpful guide on what to do before a local power disruption even happens. (h/t to MDCreekMore.com.)
Secure your food and water supply
The last thing you want to happen is to go hungry in the middle of a storm while the power is out. Be sure to stock up on food and potable water while you can. A good estimate of how much water you will need to stock up on is one gallon of water per person per day. Make sure it’s ready to drink, in case you won’t be able to boil it. You might not be able to cook food either. There are a few options you can take to get around this setback. The first option would be to stock up on food that doesn’t need cooking. These are food items that require little preparation, can be eaten cold, and can be eaten straight from the can or packaging. The second option would be to precook your food your food in advance and place them in your refrigerator or ice chest. Try to keep your refrigerator door closed as much as possible to preserve the cold temperature. Only open it when you need to take out your food. The last option would be to learn how to cook over an open fire. You can also use gas or charcoal grills. Take great caution if you choose this option, however, as you may risk carbon monoxide poisoning or fire-related accidents. If possible, try to do this outdoors.
Acquire other sources of light
Place plenty of easily accessible flashlights around your house. Make sure they’re all equipped with fresh batteries and stock up on several extra batteries to spare. Other sources of light you can choose from include emergency candles, oil lamps, and propane lanterns. As with learning how to cook over an open flame, take great care when using candles to ensure they don’t burn anything by accident. (Related: Do you know what to do during a power outage? Here are 5 essential things you need.)
Acquire a working radio
Just because you don’t have internet access or television doesn’t mean you have to stay out of touch with the rest of the world. Use a battery-operated radio, solar radio, or hand crank radio to get the latest updates on your local news and weather. It should also help you have a better idea of how long the power outage will last. Test your radio at least once a year to ensure that it is still in good working condition. Unless you are mechanically inclined, you will have little use for a dead radio during an emergency.
Unplug all electronic devices and appliances
Some electronic equipment and appliances are sensitive to power spikes and may easily be damaged if the power suddenly comes back on. Go around your house and check all your items and appliances that rely on electricity. You can even make an inventory, if you want. When the power goes out, disconnect all these items immediately. You can also use a surge protector, but it is still generally better to leave all your equipment unplugged.
Learn how to stay prepared for all kinds of emergency situations by going to Preparedness.news.