A power outage occurs when electrical power goes out unexpectedly. According to the Ready Campaign, power outages can lead to the disruption of communication, transportation and water, shutdown a myriad of services and cause water contamination as well. Power outages can occur because of equipment failures, bad weather or public damage. It can be frustrating and quite possibly dangerous. To prevent inconveniences and dangers that come with power outages, it’s important to take the necessary precautions. If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry—the team at OnTime Service has a helpful list of ways to prepare for a power outage.
1. Have A Plan of Action
To prepare for any potentially dangerous scenario, such as a power outage that lasts for a long period of time, it’s important to have a plan of action in place. There are several campaigns and organizations such as the Red Cross and the Ready Campaign that have many suggestions on how you can prepare for a power outage. Here are some ways you can come up with an effective preparedness plan.
- Put together an emergency preparedness kit. It must include flashlights, family first aid kit, personal hygiene items, personal documentation, important medication or medical items, some non-perishable food items and extra cash. The Red Cross has a much more detailed emergency kit that can also be helpful.
- Sign up for local weather reports and keep an eye out for potential causes of power outages causes by wind, rain or electrical storms.
- Keep an inventory of items you need that rely on electricity.
- If you have medical devices that are powered by electricity or have refrigerated medicines, talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan.
- Keep phones charged.
- Keep a list of community locations you can go to if the heat or cold is extreme.
- Make sure your car has a full gas tank.
- If the power outage is caused by extreme weather such as a flood or hurricane, have an evacuation plan ready.
2. Prevent Your Food from Spoiling
Food spoilage can be a big issue during a power outage. Before a power outage, take out several non-perishable food items for you and your family. If you think the power outage will long for more than a day or so, have one or more coolers containing food, water bottles and ice. In addition, always keep your refrigerator or freezer closed during a power outage, to ensure the food remains refrigerated for as long as possible. After the outage, dispose of any food such as meat, poultry and fish that has been exposed to temperatures above 40 F for more than 2 hours. If you’re not sure of the temperature, use a food thermometer to take temperature.
3. Protect Appliances and Electronics
During and before a power outage, turn off and unplug all unnecessary electronics. Be sure to turn off or unplug big appliances and equipment such as stoves, washing machines, HVAC units; when power comes back on, surges and spikes in electricity occur and can damage electrical equipment. Stay away from power lines, especially in flooded areas. Instead, report them to your utility company.
4. Learn How to Safely Operate A Generator
A home generator is very helpful to have during a power outage. However, it is important to operate it safely. Be sure to keep the generator outside in an open area away from doors and windows—never use it inside. Also make sure it is kept dry by keeping it on a dry surface. To learn more on how to operate a generator safely, read this helpful guide.
Be Prepared with OnTime Service
The team at OnTime Service believes in our customers being prepared and taking precautionary measures to protect their families and homes. For tips to keep your home’s electrical devices, plumbing and HVAC appliances safer, get in touch with our pros. Call us today at 251-272-3595 or schedule a service online!