Power outages are an all-too-familiar occurrence. Whether it’s a storm that knocks out power in your neighborhood or a planned outage by the utility company, not having access to electricity can be inconvenient. For those faced with dangerous weather conditions or other unforeseen events, being prepared is essential to staying safe during a power outage.
The following are 8 tips to effectively prepare your home for future power outages so you and your family can rest easy knowing you’re ready if disaster strikes.
Table of Contents:
1. Install Surge Protectors
Installing surge protectors is an excellent precaution to ensure the safety of your possessions in the event of a power outage. Surge protectors will help prevent damage due to electrical spikes and may also help improve the lifespan of important electronics, protecting your investments and saving you money in the long run.
While researching your options, read up on ratings and installation instructions to ensure you get the right protector. Be sure to regularly check that the surge protector is securely plugged in and that the outlets are functioning properly so you can have confidence that your belongings will be safe from harmful occurrences like lightning strikes or power outages.
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2. Store Emergency Supplies
Keep flashlights, candles, matches, blankets, and other supplies in an easily accessible area so you can grab them quickly during a power outage. Make sure to stock up on non-perishable food items, such as protein bars, canned goods or freeze-dried foods. Having a first-aid kit, a fire extinguisher, and extras of any necessary medications is also wise.
Having an emergency plan is also essential for protecting your family should an emergency occur. This plan should tell your family what to do if a blackout or other emergency arises. Ensure that all family members are aware of the plan and review it regularly to ensure that everyone knows what to do in an emergency.
3. Invest in Backup Power Sources
One of the most important things you can do to prepare your home for a power outage is to invest in backup power sources. These could include generators, solar panels, or battery-powered backup systems.
Generators are great because they give you access to electricity even when the grid is down. You can purchase portable generators that will allow you to take them with you if you need to use them outdoors or if you need to relocate during an emergency.
Solar generators are another great option because they provide free, renewable energy that can be used during a power outage. Solar generators consist of solar panels and portable power stations. They are great for providing power to essential items like medical devices, phones, and light sources. They are also eco-friendly and much quieter than traditional generators.
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4. Know What to Unplug
Electronics are vulnerable to damage during an electrical surge and should be unplugged until the power is restored. This includes computers, gaming systems, TVs, and other items that contain sensitive electronic components or use electric motors.
Exercise patience and wait for a steady power supply to be re-established before reconnecting them. There may be voltage surges as the electricity comes back on, and waiting a few minutes may help you avoid them.
5. Stay Informed
Sign up for emergency alerts in your area and keep yourself apprised of weather forecasts to anticipate possible outages. It’s also a good idea to keep up with utility companies on social media or sign up for their email alerts so you can get updates on when the power might be restored and on what areas are affected. It will help you plan ahead and take all necessary precautions to remain safe and comfortable during a power outage.
There are also apps available that can provide you with all the latest alerts in your area and tips on how to stay safe during an emergency.
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6. Stock up on Water
Extended power outages can quickly become a health and safety issue, especially in the case of your water supply. Without power, your water supply is at risk of contamination from inside and outside sources, and you may even experience a complete water outage. Store an emergency supply beforehand to ensure you and your family have access to clean drinking water.
Store at least one gallon of water per person per day for drinking and sanitation purposes. In addition, you should also consider having a potable water storage container to store larger quantities of clean drinking water that can be used in an emergency. If your area is prone to extended power outages, investing in a filtration system or purification tablets can also help ensure you have access to clean drinking water.
7. Invest in a Power Bank
Investing in a portable power bank is a great way to ensure you always have an extra charge when your phone battery runs low. These are portable, rechargeable batteries that can provide enough energy to keep your cell phone or laptop running for several hours. They can be charged ahead of time so you’ll always have access to power.
In addition, power banks are relatively lightweight and small enough to fit in most purses or backpacks, so you can bring them wherever life takes you. Whether camping out for the weekend or traveling for business, having that extra charge when your battery is low can be a lifesaver.
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8. Learn How to Open Your Garage Manually
If you have a garage, power outages can be particularly inconvenient. Fortunately, garage doors are designed to open manually when the power goes out. Learning how to open your door manually can keep you from being stuck at home during a power outage.
Make sure the door is all the way down, then pull the emergency release cord, which is typically a red rope hanging overhead. This will release the door from the opening and closing mechanism. Then you can pull the door open and closed by hand.
If you have an electric gate, it is a good idea to learn how to open it manually before you experience an outage. For example, you may be able to use a key to disengage the latch and allow you to pull or push the gate open. For additional security, certain gates also come equipped with a handle or lever that releases power locks in an emergency, giving you peace of mind during power outages.
Power outages can be an unpleasant surprise and often leave us feeling unprepared. As such, taking the necessary steps to ensure your safety if a power outage occurs is essential. Prepare ahead of time by stocking up on supplies, protecting your electronics, investing in backup power and light sources, and learning how to open garage doors and gates manually. These precautions will help you remain safe and comfortable should the power go out unexpectedly.
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