Power outages are quite hectic and frustrating, especially when they occur in the midst of a busy schedule. Sadly, you can do nothing to prevent such occurrences. That is because they are the result of natural causes, technical failures, human error, and scheduled interruptions carried out as part of regular planned maintenance. Natural causes that lead to power outages include freezing rain, lightning, wind, wildlife, iced-up lines, and snow to mention a few. Nevertheless, it is not all doom and gloom. It is important to take the utmost care to ensure that nothing disastrous happens when the power outages occur. Below is a list of the best tips and tricks that teach you what to do in a power outage at home.
Keep an Emergency Kit Nearby
Technology has created a kit known as power outage emergency kit. If you reside in an area renowned for frequent power outages, you should not waste time wondering whether the kit is a necessity. You need it! With such a kit, you would not have to worry about being unable to use your phone the entire day. Today, it would be a huge disservice on your part to be unable to use the phone to answer calls and respond to emails or text messages. In such instances, you need something as useful as a power bank. A power bank is part of the emergency kit that needs to be near you at all times. Other than that, you also need a flashlight to see in the dark. Apart from those, you would need the following items too:
- Set of batteries
- Box of matches
In some cases, the emergency power outage kit might not be enough to power all your appliances and tools. Therefore, a home standby generator would suffice in such instances. Get a generator designed to power the entire house though to enjoy its full benefits. Otherwise, anything else would struggle to meet the power needs of your house. Moreover, such a piece of equipment would serve you excellently, only if you get a powerful and dependable one. The market is full of numerous choices; hence, the need to know them and their differences or capabilities first. A good generator does more than powering basic household appliances, especially when you are dealing with emergencies.
Installing Charging Bulbs
Self-charging bulbs are a must-install in any home. They are worth investing in as long as you are interested in learning what to do in a power outage at home. Such bulbs come plenty of added accessories that include a central processing unit (CPU), control technology intelligence, a battery, memory, and inverter. They are fitted with printed circuit board on the inside. You have the option of selecting either solar or electric charging bulbs. They immediately go on when an abrupt darkness sets in either at night or during the day. What is more, you do not have to wait until power outages occur. When the days are also dark and the house poorly lit, a common occurrence during certain seasons, the self-charging bulbs provide enough light.
Storing Food and Water Supplies
Power outages are cumbersome and massively inconvenient too. For this reason, you should be ready for them with enough food and water supplies. At times, outages might last for several days or weeks, especially when they are the result of natural calamities such as cyclones, typhoons, or hurricanes. During these moments, you would need to store ample food and water. This survival tactic is worth memorizing and applying in your life for the rainy days. Make sure that you close the food and water containers tightly to protect them from going bad. Invest in ample water bags and gallons in advance. Do not wait for the adverse weather conditions or natural disasters to occur to invest in such items.
Water has a habit of getting stale. Therefore, use it occasionally to ensure that it remains relatively fresh. Do not forget to refill whatever quantity of the stored water you have used. Additionally, make sure that the water containers are washed thoroughly in warm ad soapy water. When refilling or filling for the first time, make sure that you do so directly from the faucet rather than other container. Remember to label the containers “Drinking Water” so that everybody knows what they are for. After sealing the containers, keep them in a cool, dark, and dry place. As you do all this, watch out that you do not drink or use water that has been stored for more than six months, as it would not be fit for human consumption.
It is also advisable to store enough water for all members of your household. Here, there is a simple rule worth following to ensure that nobody lacks adequate water to drink. Essentially, each member of your family needs a gallon of water per day. Typically, a normal person who stays as active as anyone else needs half-a-gallon of water, which equates to two quarts of water, per day. This could be higher depending on the specific habits and preferences of members of your family. Therefore, this would mean storing several gallons depending on the duration of the power outage or natural disaster. Ideally, you should prepare for an outage or disaster that lasts anywhere between three days and two weeks.
Apply Winter Precautions
Is your home in a place that is susceptible to power outages during winter? In that case, you would need to learn what to do in a power outage at home. Here, the best solution would involve taking the appropriate winter precautions. Be ready for shortage of running water when outages occur in winter. Alternatively, you are at risk of freezing – possibly to death – when winter causes power outage in your area. For this reason, it is advisable to store as much firewood as you can. The firewood would help you to light open fires that keep you and the entire household warm. Otherwise, the extreme cold conditions could cause massive inconveniences, including sickness and possible death.
As you prepare by getting as much firewood as possible, do not forget to improve ventilation around the house. Otherwise, you would be exposing your loved ones to the likelihood of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning is known for causing serious tissue damage or even death. While it might be quite tempting to seal the entire house to keep the cold temperatures out, you should do so only after ascertaining that the property has adequate ventilation. A home that has one or a few pregnant mothers with unborn babies needs extra ventilation, especially when power outages occur forcing you to use firewood. Improve the ventilation at home that has the following categories of people:
- Young children
- Older adults
- People with chronic heart diseases
- People with a history of fainting or developing unconsciousness when exposed to carbon monoxide poisoning
Installing carbon monoxide detectors is one of the best solutions for anyone asking what to do in a power outage at home. One detector has to be in the hallway near each bedroom or any room where a member or members of your household sleep in. Keep checking the batteries in the detectors to confirm that they are in excellent condition. That is because the last thing you would need is a detector that does not emit any warning when carbon monoxide starts filling the home. The moment the detector goes off, leave the house as fast as possible with the rest of your loved ones. Once you are outside, dial 911 to report the incident so that experts in such matters can respond accordingly.
Be Ready at All Times
Lastly, and in conclusion, you should be ready for all possibilities. You never know what might or might not happen. Invest in power guarding devices, as they are more effective at protecting all electronic appliances. In some instances, you might need barrier guards, two-hand tripping devices, or electronic safety devices. The latter include surge protectors, arc fault circuit breakers, fuses, and tamper proof receptacles. Mostly, these devices need to be installed in your home way before you ever have to experience a power outage. These types of devices prevent fluctuation and complete lack of power from damaging critical appliances at home. On top of that, you should consider switching off all power at home for the duration of the outage.
As noted above, remember to invest in emergency power outage kits. Installing self-charging bulbs is an excellent solution too. Storing food and water supplies in the house prepares you for any eventuality in case the outage lasts longer than you ever envisaged. As you do this, remember to take the necessary winter precautions, in case you reside in a place that has a reputation for experiencing power outages when this season hits. With these measures in place, you would boost your capacity for enjoying ample power supply even as the outage rears its ugly head. It is impossible to predict when outages would occur or what would cause them. However, you can learn what to do in a power outage at home.