WHEN IT GOES DARK: HOW TO PREPARE FOR POWER OUTAGES

You’re watching your favorite holiday film with the family and suddenly—black out! Now what? Do you know where the flashlight is? Do you have extra batteries? Do you own a generator? If you answered “No” to one or more of these questions, this blog is for you.

Homes and cities are more prone to power outages during the holiday months. Weather is more extreme in the winter and this is when it is more likely to happen.

OnTime Service helps you prepare for when the lights let you down. Don’t be caught off guard in the dark; you can handle a power outage smoothly with some pre-planning and a few emergency essentials.

Tips for When It Goes Dark
1. Get Weather Alerts

Try to predict when you need to have your power outage essentials on hand. Sign up for weather alerts on your phone and computer. If you know there is going to be a heavy storm, one that could possibly knock down power lines or trees or cause enough distress to municipal electrical work that the whole neighborhood loses power, get your kit and keep it in a place you can easily get to, even in the dark.

2. What Should Be In My Storm Safety Kit?

Source: babytoboomer.com

• Flashlight
• Extra Batteries
• Battery-Powered Radio
• Cash
• Bottled Water
• Non-Perishable Food
• First Aid Kit
• Socks & Gloves

3. Got a Generator? Hook It Up!

Purchasing a generator is one way families prepare for power outages. Generators offer peace of mind because when hooked up they provide emergency power. You are then able to charge your communication devices or keep the fridge running cold so your food doesn’t go sour while you wait for full power to be restored. They are especially useful if there are young or elderly at home.

If you don’t own a generator, remember, On Time offers a wide selection of reliable generators. Contact one of our specialists at 205-942-1405. Our team is trained on how to hook you up with the right generator at the right price. That’s just one of the many ways we’re there to help you weather any electrical storm.

4. Get Warm

It’s never a bad idea to have jackets, socks, gloves, beanies, sleeping bags, and blankets available and easy to access during a power outage. Most outages occur at night when storms often reach their peak. This is also when temperatures tend to drop the lowest.

No heater in the middle of a winter storm can be a discomfort and a danger to your family’s health and wellbeing. The heat may not be working, but you’ll never freeze if you keep warm clothing and bedding options organized and ready for emergency layering.

5. Keep Yourself Updated

It’s important to stay connected to the news. This may be harder to do when the power is out because you won’t have access to the television or radio programming that comes from a unit plugged into the wall. There are several radios you can buy that are battery operated. This is an emergency essential.

Phones have limited battery life, and there is no way to predict if your phone will die before the power comes back. Without a charged phone, a radio will keep you up to date on updates from the utility company or any local announcements regarding the storm. Buy some backup batteries and chargers to keep your phone fully charged. We recommend purchasing a car jump starter kit that doubles as an emergency battery.

And, at the very least, if you’re weathering a milder storm, it can keep your family dancing to music all night long if necessary!

6. Decide on a Plan B

It can seem fairly easy to prepare for a power outage that lasts a couple hours or even a full 24, but it becomes much more difficult and dangerous to endure a power outage lasting multiple days. Be in touch with friends and relatives. Plan how you will exit your home and what your transportation will be. If you need to travel to someone else’s home that is warm and inhabitable, know who that will be and how you will get there.

Click here for storm safety tips from the American Red Cross.

7. Protect Your Appliances

Lighting storms can cause strong power surges that may destroy or harm your plugged-in appliances and electronics. Make sure you have whole-home surge protection to protect your electrical valuables. OnTime Service can help you install this important home protection. Contact us to schedule service before the next big storm!

If you don’t have whole-home surge protection and a storm is on the way, make sure all of your expensive appliances and electronics are plugged into surge protectors. Power strips are not the same as surge protectors, so make sure you carefully read the label. And always look for a seal from an independent testing laboratory, such as UL. Click here for tips on shopping for plug-in surge protectors. If you don’t have working plug-in surge protectors, unplug your electronics until the storm has passed.

 8. Enjoy Yourself, If Possible!

Families get to spend a lot more time together during the holidays. If a power outage hits when the family is together, make it a time to bond more than a time to be in fear. As long as you have your kit of emergency essentials, you’ll be able to handle a short power outage flawlessly.

In the meantime, light some candles and bust out the board games, tell spooky stories with a flashlight, pretend you’re camping and build a fort, or even put on a shadow puppet show! There are many ways to stay connected even when your appliances are not.

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season!
Additional Storm Safety and Power Outage Resources:
How to Prepare Home Before Traveling
Flickering Lights, Power Outages, and Other Electrical “Hauntings”
Thunderstorm Safety (American Red Cross)
Power Outages (Department of Homeland Security)
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Give OnTime Service a call to schedule your electrical safety inspections at 205-942-1405.

Our experienced team of electricians is fully trained to handle any electrical system.