7 Emergency Prep Tips for Power Outages
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They happen at the most inopportune time. You’re watching TV with your family, enjoying a night in. Then, the lights go out. You turn on a light switch. Nothing happens. You fiddle around your house and realize the power is out. How long will be out? Are you prepared? If not, it’s a good idea to be prepared for an outage…whether it lasts a couple of minutes or a couple weeks.
If the power goes out in your neighborhood, the Toolbarn web staff have come up with some helpful tips to get you through until your electricity is up and running again.
1.) Carry A Flashlight
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If there is a blackout or power outage, having a flashlight is vital. Obviously, it helps you see in the dark and see what you need to do in case you have to check on something in your house. Some will say use candles, but we wouldn’t recommend it because of an increased chance of fire. Remember, flashlights are your friend and will help you tremendously in case the power goes out in your home.
2.) Have A Portable Radio
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When power is out, it’s important to listen to local media in order to get up on the latest happenings. The media will be the first to hear important information from emergency officials and pass it onto their viewers or listeners. Make sure your phone is charged up or make sure you have a portable battery operated radio. Also, have extra sets of batteries. The more information you have, the better off you’ll be.
3.) Have an Emergency Food Supply
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If there is a power outage or any emergency, it’s always a good idea to have an emergency food stash. Canned food, meals-ready to eat and other non-perishable food should be in your pantry. If you have cans without a tab, make sure you have a manual can opener. Nothing’s worse than having canned food and not having a way to get it open. Remember, a can open opener….a necessity during an emergency.
4.) Have an Emergency Water Supply
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Water is the essence of life and its needed even more in an emergency. In fact, the CDC recommends that you should have 1 gallon of water for each person and pet for everyday there is a power outage or emergency. You should also consider storing more water if you live in a hot climate or live with someone who is pregnant or sick as well.
5.) A First Aid Kit
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If a power outage occurs, it’s also a good idea to have a first aid kit in case one of your kids or friends gets hurt somehow. This includes, Band-Aids, gauze, safety pins, latex gloves, scissors and other related items. Hopefully, you won’t need it. But, it’s better have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
6.) Don’t Open Your Fridge
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If the power goes out, don’t open your refrigerator unless you have to. Your food should be okay for up to four hours. Frozen food should last up to 24 hours. If it is winter time, you take your food and either put it outside if its below freezing or in your garage. If the outage lasts longer than a day, throw your food out.
7.) Entertain Your Family During the Outage
Photo Courtesy of the Red Cross
During an outage or an emergency, try to find a positive way to pass the time. This could mean playing board games or reading a book to your children. Adults should have good reading material too. When there is no electricity, it’s important to get people’s minds off of the problem at hand. For kids, playing games or reading a story helps with this. It provides comfort and sound frame of mind for everyone involved.
While power outages can be a nuisance, it is important to prepare for a long term emergency…especially in the winter months. For more power outage or emergency tips, you can log on to the Red Cross’ website.