What to Do When the Power Goes Out?

What to Do When the Power Goes Out?

September 15, 2020

 Nothing is worse than a power outage. Sometimes you can see it coming as a result of a big thunderstorm or snowstorm. Other times, you have no warning at all! In any case, it’s important to know what to do in these situations to help keep you and your family safe and comfortable until the power comes back on. Power outages are never fun, but following this guide will make this annoying situation easier to deal with until the problem can be resolved.

Light Your Home

Perhaps one of the most important things to address quickly during a power outage is lighting. You never realize how important lighting is until you no longer have it! This is especially true for nighttime power outages. And while you might think that candles and flashlights are the best things to have on-hand in the case of a power outage, there are actually other lighting solutions that can help you survive without power that are safer and more convenient. For example, LED emergency lights are a great feature to have in your home. After all, public buildings require emergency lights for health and safety reasons – your home should have them as well! Emergency LED lights have an internal battery that is used in the event of a power outage. This battery can last up to four hours! In addition to providing dependable emergency light to your home, LED emergency lights are also affordable, efficient, and long-lasting with minimum maintenance – making them a great addition to any home. 

Unplug Appliances and Electronics

Another thing you need to do when the power goes out is to unplug your appliances and electronics. This is necessary because electrical energy can surge when power is eventually restored and potentially damage your devices. These surges can totally fry expensive electronic devices like televisions, computers, phones, and gaming systems. Furthermore, all of these devices restarting at the same time when power is restored can easily overload the system and trip your breakers. Instead, it’s a good idea to unplug everything and plug them back in one at a time once the power is back on. When it comes to your appliances, you should unplug everything except for your refrigerator. This is an important safety measure that can help protect your home in the case that an appliance was on when the power went out. You can either do this manually by going around and physically unplugging everything or you can turn off your main circuit breaker to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Be Smart About Food

Speaking of refrigerators, you shouldn’t just keep them plugged in but you should also keep them closed unless it’s absolutely necessary to open them. This will help the food stay cold and fresh for as long as possible. In the meantime, you can eat non-perishable food in the pantry. However, if it looks like you will be without power for a long period of time, you should start eating the food in the refrigerator so that it doesn’t go to waste. As a general rule, food in the fridge will stay cool for up to four hours without power and the food in the freezer will be good for up to 24 hours.

Contact Your Utility Provider

If your power goes out and there doesn’t seem to be a problem with your individual breaker or fuse box, then you will need to call your power company to report the outage. Depending on how widespread the outage is, the utility provider may already know and it might be difficult to get through to a representative due to a high volume of callers. Instead of calling, many power companies have the option to view or report outages online through the company website. This is a great option if you are looking to preserve the battery on your cell phone since you won’t have to sit on hold for a long period of time.

Conserve Your Cell Phone Battery

Maintaining your cell phone battery during a power outage is extremely important because it’s one of the best ways to communicate without electricity. While it might be tempting to play games on your cell phone to pass the time during a power outage, it’s best to only use it when necessary so you have it in case of an emergency and you can stay updated on the outage status, the weather, local news, etc. As a backup, it’s always a good idea to have a charged power bank on hand that is compatible with your phone. That way, you can charge your phone without power and don’t have to worry about it dying. Another option is potentially using your car and a car charger to charge your cell phone battery if necessary.  

Fill Bathtubs and Sinks With Water

Unless you have a ton of potable water on hand, you should fill up your bathtubs, sinks, and other containers with water to make sure that you have enough for drinking and sanitation purposes. This is especially true if you are experiencing an extensive power outage that is expected to last a while. Never assume that water is safe to drink during a power outage since the water sanitation system might not be able to function properly without power. Be on the lookout for notifications from your local officials about the status of the water system. They may issue boiling notices or advise that you avoid tap water completely.

The Rundown

Power outages can range from inconvenient to downright scary! No matter the cause, you need to be prepared with the right tools, equipment, and information in order to get through a power outage. This is especially true in a time when power outages are on the rise in the United States! When you are proactive by purchasing things like LED emergency lights, power banks, and extra drinking water for your home, you are putting yourself on the right track to get through any power outage no matter the cause or duration.

 

Sources:

https://www.grainger.com/know-how/safety/emergency-response/emergency-preparedness-and-response/kh-emergency-lighting-exit-sign-requirements-265-qt#:~:text=The%20emergency%20lighting%20must%20be,of%20egress%20at%20floor%20level.

https://www.foodsafety.gov/food-safety-charts/food-safety-during-power-outage#:~:text=As%20the%20USDA%20notes%20in,hours%20during%20a%20power%20outage.&text=Discard%20refrigerated%20perishable%20food%20such,food%20to%20determine%20its%20safety.

https://www.newsweek.com/california-power-outages-expect-more-us-1464194