We’ve all experienced power outages at one time or another. They are usually short and more of an annoyance than anything else thanks to dependable power supplies. Extended disruptions however, can be a different story. We're so used to having electricity on demand that we need to be ready when we don't have it.
A few simple precautions will get you through the worst of it.
Electrical outages can happen at any time and they do, day and night. Good flashlights are essential year-round in any area. Without a safe lighting source, we’re unable to function safely in our homes. Candles as a lighting source are not recommended during power outages. Forgotten, left unattended, or accidently tipped over, they are just to dangerous to use unless someone is present in that room to watch them at all times.
Have at least one flashlight for each family member and one for the garage, kitchen, basement and utility room. Keep one in each vehicle. Keep fresh batteries installed and store extra batteries.
In addition to the items shown in the Supply List section it's especially important to focus on immediate needs during a power loss, the first being safety. It’s very common for accidents to increase dramatically in the home when power outages occur. Move from area to area carrying a portable light. Watch your step.
Protect your food and cold storage items. Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed. A refrigerator can only keep food cold for 4-5 hours depending on room temperature and this is when the door is not opened. Opening the refrigerator or freezer doors will drastically reduce the amount of time foods will stay cold.
Cordless telephones won't usually work. Have at least one phone that plugs directly into the phone jack and doesn’t require electricity to operate.
Most cable phone-modems have battery backup and will still operate but your cordless phone probably won’t so unplug the cordless phone and plug in the non-cordless phone directly into the cable company modem.
Install battery operated lights in closets, attics, and basements in case of power outage.
If using a portable generator, use caution not to allow generator exhaust fumes to build up in unventilated enclosed spaces. Be certain you have adequate ventilation for generators, snow blowers, or any other fuel burning device.
When using portable generators do not overload the generators wattage rating. Rotate the powering of appliances such as refrigerator/freezer, furnace fan, portable lights and heaters as appropriate. Know which appliances can be run at the same time so as not to exceed the wattage/amperage rating of your power supply.