You know the feeling – it’s terrible. Suddenly, all the lights in your house go off, and it’s pitch black. You run to the breaker box to check if the power’s out for just your house or the whole neighborhood. And then you start to wonder – how long is it going to be out? A few minutes is one thing. But if it’s a few hours, or even a day or two, it could be a real pain. However, if you are prepared, it could make your time in the dark a little easier. Let’s take a look at some things you can do to prepare for a power outage.
Consider buying a generator.
A generator is a device that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy. This makes it a perfect choice for powering your home during a power outage. This can be crucial during extreme weather conditions, such as a hurricane or tornado, when you need to keep your home and family safe. Generators can run on propane, gasoline, diesel, or natural gas.
Depending on when the power goes out, you could experience some miserable indoor conditions. One of the biggest benefits of buying a generator is that you can use a generator to run AC or heat when the power is out so that you can keep your home comfortable. A generator can also provide power for important appliances such as the refrigerator or well pump. This can help you stay comfortable and safe during an emergency situation. Generators come in many different sizes, so you can choose one that’s right for your needs. They are also relatively easy to operate, making them ideal for use in an emergency situation.
The most important thing to remember when using a generator is to never run it inside your home or garage. Generators produce carbon monoxide gas, which can create numerous health hazards and even be deadly if inhaled. Always place generators outdoors in a well-ventilated area away from windows, doors, and vents. Make sure there is plenty of space around the unit so that air can circulate properly. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper operation of your specific model.
Stock up on water.
Although it’s unlikely, your municipal water supply could quit functioning in the event of a large power outage due to a natural disaster. For example, Des Moines, Iowa, a city of about 400,000 residents, went without running water for 12 days in July 1993 when its water treatment facility was inundated by floodwater. Additionally, if you have a well that relies upon electricity to pump water, you will be without water if the power goes off. As a result, you’ll want to be sure to stock up on water in case the power goes out.
The National Safety Council suggests that you stockpile enough water to get you through at least three days. You’ll need one gallon of water per person per day to function. If you’re preparing for a three-day emergency, you’ll need 12 gallons of water for a family of four. Also, stow additional water for cooking, cleaning, personal hygiene, and pets.
Make sure your pantry is full.
As soon as a storm is announced, people flock to the stores to stock up on supplies. This can lead to empty shelves and long lines. To avoid the crowds, keep your pantry stocked with non-perishable items that don’t require cooking. Good options include peanut butter, nuts, seeds, peanuts, powdered and evaporated milk, packaged tuna, canned and dried meat, crackers, cereal, and granola bars. You might also consider canned and dried fruit, canned fruits, and canned vegetables. It’s important that you also put a manual can opener and scissors where you can find them. Additionally, don’t forget to also include pet food. When buying in bulk, pay attention to expiration dates as some discount stores sell food that is close to expiring.
Create an emergency preparedness kit.
When the power goes out, the last thing that you want to do is run around the house looking for essentials in the dark. To prepare for a future power outage, you can assemble a few items in a big waterproof tub and ensure that everyone knows where it is. Some things to consider putting in your kit include a basic first aid kit, a car charger for cell phones, a flashlight for every family member, a battery-powered radio, hand sanitizer, a tool kit, a camping lantern, and emergency medicines. When assembling your kit, be sure to include an ample supply of backup batteries in various sizes. You’ll also want to check your kit every six months or so to stay on top of replacing expired items.
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about power outages. But if you’re not prepared for one, a power outage can be a real hassle. From buying a generator to preparing an emergency kit, there are several things you might consider doing. With some adequate preparation, you can be ready any time your power goes out.
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