A power outage can have devastating consequences. While a brief outage may not cause serious disruptions, a major storm could leave you without power for weeks or even months. Due to the potentially extreme nature of such situations, take steps now to prepare your home in the event of a major power outage.
Purchase a Generator
If the power goes out at home, you could encounter issues with preparing food, having access to clean water, keeping the house at a safe temperature, working, attending school, and more. The need for a backup generator is apparent. Purchasing a generator can provide you with the peace of mind that your home, or at least certain appliances and devices in it, can continue functioning in the event of an outage.
Ground the House
Depending upon the cause of an outage, the damage could certainly be more serious in an ungrounded home. A house without grounding could lead to destroyed appliances or even fires. While grounding a house can be a more expensive job, the costs are worthwhile as the benefits can literally be life-saving.
An electrical outage could lead to damage or destruction of items in your house such as the computer or television. Make sure that any necessary items are unplugged. If you cannot unplug the devices, use a surge protector for an added layer of safety.
Procure Lighting Options
If the power goes out in the darkness, you don’t want to be without light. Keep a kit with a flashlight and extra batteries in a safe, accessible place. While you might be inclined to store this kit in the basement, think about the practicality of doing so. You would have to walk down the stairs in the darkness, which is dangerous. A better idea is to keep a kit with a flashlight and backup batteries on each floor of the house. No matter where you are when the power goes out, you can access light.
Get a Battery-Operated Radio
You might wonder why you would need a battery-operated radio. After all, if the television goes out, you could check the news and latest outage updates on your cell phone with a hotspot. Remember that you must conserve energy on your devices and might not be able to access a hotspot. The radio and a set of back-up batteries will allow you to stay informed.
Get Plenty of Water
A power outage could mean that you lose access to fresh and clean water. Buy both gallons and bottles of water at a grocery store. Make sure that you have enough for your household members, both people and pets, to last for several days or weeks, depending upon how bad the storm is expected to be. Don’t wait until the last minute to purchase this essential item because the grocery store might be out of everything.
Preserve Your Food
Stock up on canned items and other non-perishables before the storm in case you are stuck in your house for a lengthy period. As far as the refrigerator and freezer, keep the doors closed to maintain the temperature for as long as possible. Depending upon the length of the outage, you are likely going to have to throw away some or all of the items. If a relative or friend gets power back before you do, ask your loved one to store your food.
Keep Portable Phone Chargers at Full Battery
When you hear that a power outage due to an upcoming storm could be on its way, make sure to charge all of your devices. Keep fully charged portable chargers at home as well. While you could go out to your car to charge your phones in the event of an outage in the house, doing so can become burdensome. Furthermore, severe and widespread outages could lead to problems getting gas, so you want to conserve energy in your vehicle as well. Get each of your family members a portable charger to increase the total battery life of all devices.
Charge Laptops and Tablets
You want to have as many full charged communication devices as possible. You may need to call for help or check in on elderly family members. Furthermore, staying updated on the latest news related to restored power and to resources for assistance is necessary. Before the storm comes, fully charge all your laptops and tablets. Turn the devices off. Power your laptops and tablets back up only when you are ready to use them. Configuring text messaging on your laptop now is a smart idea to further increase the tools through which you can communicate. Remember that the internet is not going to be available during a power outage, so you would need to create a hotspot. Also, during an outage, power does sometimes intermittently come back on for short periods, so you could check the news or connect with loves one during that time.
Fill the Cars With Gas
Widespread outages have been known to lead to issues with obtaining gas, and going out to the station immediately before a storm hits is not the best timing. Many other people will be trying to get gas then as well, and you might get stuck in the storm while waiting in line. If the forecast for a day in the near future seems questionable, make the time to fill the tank in advance.
Consider Medical Needs
Your family members or pets might have medical needs that require the use of electrical devices for support. In these cases, you need to consider other arrangements if getting an appropriate generator is impossible. For example, your relative or pet might need to stay at the hospital or the vet where proper medical care can continue to be supplied in the event of an outage. Take heating and cooling needs into account here too. If extreme temperature conditions will create an uninhabitable environment for your relative or pet, start making plans for where this individual can stay during the storm and until power is restored. Some medications need to be kept in the refrigerator, which won’t work if the power is out for some time. Speak to the doctor or vet for suggestions on how to handle the medications. You may be able to put the medication in a cooler if necessary.
Make a List of Numbers
If the outage lasts for a long time, you may fully lose power to your cellular devices. Write down numbers of emergency contacts, local emergency resources and hotlines, and your loved ones. You should also write down the numbers of hotels that will be able to offer rooms in the event of an extended outage. You don’t want to have to waste power to conduct research after the storm strikes. Having these numbers written down in a safe spot can help.
Our professionals at Huft Home Services can help you to prepare for an outage by grounding the house, providing a backup generator, and assisting with other services. Further, our team members can tackle your next bathroom remodel or complete a home performance inspection. In fact, we offer a full line of electrical, plumbing, heating, and cooling services. We have locations in Elk Grove, Sacramento, and Yuba City today. In order to get started on preparing your home for the next power outage, give us a call today.