Doesn’t it seem like power outages happen at the worst possible time? Fumbling around in the pitch black for matches and candles is just not safe. Don’t worry— we’ve got you covered. This checklist will prepare you for the unexpected outage.
Steps to take ahead of time:
- Keep flashlights and batteries handy and make everyone in your family aware of where they’re kept. It should be someplace easy to navigate to in the dark.
- Keep canned goods, bottled water and extra pet food on hand. Make sure you have a manual can-opener. An electric can opener won’t do you any good in a power outage!
- Be sure to keep gas in your car and some spare cash at home. Gas pumps and ATMs will be inaccessible since they require electricity.
- You’ll want to stay informed and cell phone batteries only last so long! As old-fashioned as it may seem, purchase a battery-operated radio for your home. It will be your connection to news and outage updates.
- Talk your family through a power outage ahead of time. This is especially important for families with younger children for whom an outage might be particularly frightening. Knowing what to expect can help reduce some anxiety.
What to do when the lights go out:
- Keep the fridge and freezer closed to lock cold air in. Follow this general rule of thumb: refrigerated food will keep for up to 24 hours after the power goes out, and frozen items will last for about two days.
- Bundle up if it’s cold, and hydrate if it’s hot. In cold weather, layer up and keep warm under blankets. In the heat, make your way to lower levels of your home which will be naturally cooler.
- Practice generator safety. Don’t run your generator indoors and do not touch it with wet hands. Keep your generator out of rain and snow.
- Unplug appliances to prevent a power surge from damaging them when the electricity is restored.
- Make your way to public places if possible. Libraries, malls and movie theaters can be a good place to escape from a home without power.
Let’s face it—power outages are unavoidable and can be a major inconvenience. But they don’t have to put your family at risk. Be prepared, and stay safe and protected when the next outage hits.