What to Do During a Power Outage

Spring storms often bring the problem of electricity going out – either for a few minutes or for a few hours.

The best thing you can do is be prepared.

Invest in emergency lighting. Most likely you are going to need to move from one place to another in your house, and sometimes this will be when it is also dark outside so that you have no natural light. For your safety, lighting your surroundings is key. One of the easiest DIY fixes you can do is installing rechargeable flashlights. These types of emergency lights plug into electrical outlets, and when the electricity goes out, they turn on and provide lighting. These are great in really critical areas, such as stairways. What’s great is that you can unplug them and carry with you.

Have alternate lighting. Once you have lighted your critical walkways, you may need additional lighting. These can be sources such as candles, camp lights, solar lights, and other items. Just be sure that anything that uses an open flame is closely monitored.

Consider your morning wakeup call. If the electricity goes out, your alarm may also turn off, but you may still also need to get to work on time. This is a perfect time to have an alarm on your phone, or use an alarm clock that has battery backup.

Have phone backup chargers. These can be rechargeable battery packs, or even solar charged packs. These can be critical if you need emergency assistance.

Other less critical items will be to remember that if your hot water heater is electric, your morning shower may be pretty cold.

You also don’t want to open your refrigerator or freezer. Keep all of the cold air inside as long as possible. A refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours, after which time you will want to dispose of the majority of items (check health resources for a full list). A full freezer that is unopened can last 48 hours (or 24 hours for a half-full freezer).

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