When The Power Goes Out
This week it seems that the potential for severe weather is rampant across the country. With severe weather comes the prospect of flood damage and even prolonged power outages. Since you don’t want to be caught in the dark unexpectedly, here are a few pointers for being prepared when the lights go out in Georgia, or New York, or California, or wherever you happen to be.
Keep cell phones charged with a portable power unit. Increasingly, cell phones are the only phone line that people use, and if they go out, then you are truly isolated. You should invest in a portable backup charger for cell phones, laptops, etc, and make sure they remain in good working order.
Have a battery operated weather radio, as this allows you to remain aware and informed regarding rapidly changing weather conditions even if all other power sources are knocked out. A hand crank model is ideal since it will never run out of power.
Have a home emergency kit and keep it updated. This would include first aid supplies, snow and ice removal gear, blankets, and fuel for heating. You also want to have fresh water on hand along with a 3-5 day supply of non-perishable food items. Refresh the battery supply at least once per year and make sure battery operated items like flashlights actually work.
Use surge protectors on all electronics, or unplug the units while the power is out to prevent damage or injury when it suddenly comes back on.
Keep traveling to a minimum. If you have to go out, make sure you have emergency supplies with you such as blankets, road flares, and a working cell phone to call for help. Avoid traveling at night or along back roads (which may be the last to see snow plows or utility trucks).
You also want to be aware of local emergency response directions, such as evacuation orders, as well as any evac routes out of your community. Have a predetermined place to go in the event you have to leave.