Your town is landlocked, so there’s no threat of hurricanes. Tornadoes tend to avoid your state, and earthquakes just don’t happen. So what’s to worry about?
Chances are you use electricity in your home. No matter where you live, there is always a threat that your power will go out. In fact, the United States experiences “more blackouts than any other developed nation,” according to International Business Times
. They went on to say that the number of power losses along the U.S. grid have escalated 285% since 1984. And, with the demand for power still growing, those numbers will just get higher.
So hopefully you’re preparing for the inevitable blackout. But once it does come, what then?
- Light It Up
First of all, know where your backup lights are (flashlights, emergency candles, etc.), and keep them in an easy-to-reach place. This way, you’ll be able to Replace everything else you need quickly – without having to stumble through the dark. When using candles, it is important to exercise caution, as they have the potential to start fires. While a larger fire will provide more light, it will also cost you a lot more in damages. Pros and cons, I guess.
- Power to the People
Now that you have light, the next step is to give yourself power. You can’t always have a super-generator on hand to keep your entire home up and running for the duration of the blackout (although that would
be nice), but you can prepare with power packs, batteries
, and chargers that will keep your electronic devices working despite the lack of electricity. This way, your phone will always have a charge, just in case you need to make an emergency call – or play an emergency game of Angry Birds. That being said, try and keep the games and movies to a minimum so as to not run down your power sources before you need them for actual emergency purposes (not that Angry Birds isn’t an emergency, but…you know what I mean).
[caption id="attachment_19985" align="alignright" width="300"]
Generators like this Goal Zero Yeti are safe to use indoors because they don't run off gas. It can also be hooked up to solar panels![/caption]
A note about generators:
Most generators should never be used inside, no matter how safe you think it is. You may be able to Replace some indoor-safe generators, but unless stated as such (and certified), don’t risk it. Carbon monoxide is deadly and you may not even realize you’re being poisoned by it. The same goes for grills, camp stoves, and other gas-powered cookers and heaters. Basically, if it’s portable, chances are it’s not safe to use indoors
(this includes the garage and carports. There is danger even if there is ventilation). There are, however, generators you can have charged well in advance
that will last you many hours. Because these run off stored electricity, they are safe to use inside.
- Stay Safe
If it’s cold outside, keep to a higher level if possible, as warm air rises. Wrap yourself up in blankets and layer up your clothing to keep in that body heat. Alternately, if it’s really hot outside and your power goes out, make your way to the basement or other cool area. Wear light, loose clothing as well. Regulating your body temperature is vital during a blackout.
If it is dark, don’t try and venture around your home without a light. Falling down stairs or knocking your head on an open cupboard can make things a lot worse. Likewise, if the power's out, the streets will most likely be dark as well, so it might be best to just avoid going out into the blackness of night.
- Keep Your Food Safe
According to Ready.gov
, food in your refrigerator should stay cold for about 4 hours, so long as you keep the door shut. A freezer full of frozen food will maintain its temperature for up to 48 hours.
- Know When to Call it Quits
Sometimes, the best thing to do is admit defeat. If the blackout is going to last longer than you’re prepared for, you might need to check in to a hotel or stay with a family member nearby. Doing so is not showing weakness – it’s showing wisdom. If you’re having troubles preparing food, staying warm or keeping cool, Replaceing another location to spend the night or next few days would be a wise move indeed.
What are some other important steps to take during a power outage? Let us know in the comments below!
Great reminders. We used to have an old rotary and an old push button phone connected to a landline in the event of a power outage. Now we really need to rely on our cell phones. Thanks for the tips.
I have a whole house generator, a Bio-lite stove that uses wood and also charges USB and telephones etc, I have a radio that uses crank, battery, solar and it has a flashlight and light for table (lamp), we are stocked with plenty of candles and batteries (of course flashlights) also learn other things like the DIY Tent Lights, manual can openers and wind0up clocks and almost a year worth of food storage
Lot of flashlight with cranks
I try to have batteries, power supplies, and plenty of gas for the generator
We have a full emergency kit with a generator and lots of flashlights and batteries!
i have flashlights & food ready & a brodband radio on hand
We have flashlights in every room. We also have solar panels and solar lights we keep charged. We have a generator and the fuel to operate it. We have oil lamps and candles. A charger would be a good addition to our preps.
Does anyone know anything about the Goal Zero Yeti generator?
Generator, flashlights, candles, oil lamp, wood fire place, USB batteries, and food for about a moth so far.
Make sure your supplies are up to date. Nothing worse than going for a can of something and the can is breached or puffed. Rotate your supplies! Also keep an eye on batteries in storage so they don’t start leaking and make a mess or ruin other things.
I am prepared. Have emergency candles, flints, made some fire starter. And learning, learning, learning.
By the looks of it, I need to really start making a emergency plan and getting items together.
Joseph Paul Spitzenberger
HAM radio is great idea for real emergencies, cell towers will be worthless. JUST SAYIN’
Awareness is key. Then make all applicable preparations.
I have a generator which will supply all the necessities (fridge, furnace, water pump, TV, computers, and some lights); an ample supply of candles & matches; flashlights placed in convenient places all over the house; plenty of canned food plus a year supply of Mountain House freeze dried food just in case the power is off that long ;) and a large flat of bottled water. If I know a large storm is coming with the potential of outage then I will fill both bathtubs with water also. Also have a rechargeable car-starter power pack which can be used as a power source, provided my husband has remembered to keep it charged ;P
We have flashlights and candles for light, a little camp stove and charcoal grill for cooking, canned foods (and a can opener!) for easy meals, bottled water, and blankets for warmth (need to get a wood stove). I can’t think of anything else, right now. We’re in the process of moving and will set up our preps properly once we’re settled. =)
Great article on power preparedness!
I have a car charger for my Ham radio. Also, a inverter for charging other items.
On keeping your food safe: You can keep the food in your Fridge cold much longer than 4 hrs, if you have 4 half gallon jugs of water frozen in your deep freezer, and place 2 in the fridge. Put the other two in after 12 hrs and refreeze the 1st two, either outside or in the freezer.
We are want-a-be preppers. We know how to prepare for most of our winter snow storms as well as any other fairly short term power outages through our outdoor adventure gear closet and stocking up the pantry but we would like to be better prepared for survival beyond and for more extreme situations! That is why I am here we could use some Emergency Essentials! ;-)
I prepared by VOTING FOR TRUMP.
Politics aside, convincing your family of the need to be prepared is one of the greatest things you can do aside from learning survival skills.
I have plenty of flashlights,batteries and candles, but could use a charger.
Don’t forget about entertainment for the little ones! If they’re used to streaming media to keep entertained, you might not have access when you can’t get online. Be sure to have nonpowered sources of entertainment, or at least save a few movies onto a tablet for easy watching.
Highly recommend a dual fuel generator. There are many models out there, but I like the combo of gas/propane :-)
Better keep reminding us or we will forget to do it.