When the electricity suddenly stops working, it’s called a blackout. Whether it’s preplanned or unanticipated, a power outage can leave people without access to essentials for days. The requirement for electricity, gas, water, air conditioning, refrigeration, kitchen appliances, and medical instruments could all be affected. Consider now what to do in a power outage and how to stay safe.
Tips for Staying Safe During a Power Outage
Maintain contact and vigilance. Join alert systems and download apps that can send you SMS messages. Pack a crank or battery-operated radio, a non-cordless home phone, and extra batteries and chargers for your cell phone and computer in case your home loses electricity.
Establish a system of helpers. Determine someone you can rely on to either stay with you at home during a blackout or help you get out of the house safely. Always have a hard copy of your address book on hand. Prepare supplies in advance. Put away enough water and nonperishable food to last a minimum of two weeks. Consider bringing a thermometer and using coolers and ice to extend the time that food can be refrigerated.
Prepare a pet emergency pack for your companion animals.
Recognize and arrange for your own and any potential medical electrical requirements. Think about how much power you use. Consider both backup and non-power solutions for illumination, communication, medical devices, refrigerated medicine, cooking, garage doors, locks, and elevators. If you require medical attention, talk to your primary care physician or the company that makes the equipment you use.
Think about how you’ll be keeping your home warm or cold. Insulate your home by taking measures like caulking the frames of your windows. Plan on going somewhere cool or warm if the temperature outside is extreme. Never bring an outdoor stove or heater indoors, and never use a generator.
Prepare for potential power surges. Invest in modern surge protectors for your TV, computer, and other gadgets at home.
Put in both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Place battery-operated smoke detectors near all bedrooms and other sleeping spaces on each floor. Perform checks every month. Get a carbon monoxide detector for every floor of your house.
Strategy for deciding whether to stay or leave. Preparing for a safe evacuation is essential to ensuring that essentials, such as power for medical equipment, can be maintained. Don’t let the gas tank in your car get below half full.
Preparation for a power outage.
Check notifications. Observe the forecast and any alerts that may be in effect in your area. Phone, tv, or radio. You may get a knock on the door from someone from the utility company if they need to inform you about an impending power outage. If you want to be contacted by phone or text message in the event of an emergency, it’s a good idea to sign up for a local alert and warning system.
Maintain a cold fridge and discard any perishables that you are unsure of. Prime your stomach with the freshest, most quickly spoiling foods. If you want to keep the cold inside your fridge and freezer, don’t open them.
Foods are stored in a refrigerator for four hours without being opened. Assuming the door is kept closed, a fully stocked freezer will maintain its temperature for up to 48 hours or 24 hours at a minimum. If necessary, ice should be used in coolers. A thermometer can be used to check the temperature of food stored in the fridge and freezer. Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Get in touch with those who can help you out. Make sure the folks in your social circle are safe and sound, and communicate if anyone in your group requires assistance.
Protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning. Please don’t heat your home with a gas stove, and never bring an outdoor stove inside. If you must use a generator, place it outside, away from any windows, and in a well-ventilated area.
Keep electrical surges and fires from happening. Unplug your gadgets and appliances to prevent harm from power spikes. Do not rely on candles; rather, use lights. Only if you have reason to believe the damage has occurred or if directed to do so by local authorities should you shut off the power.
A trained professional is required to activate your gas line if a circuit breaker has been tripped. It is recommended that an electrician be called in for an inspection before resetting the breaker.
Choose whether you can stay or if you should leave. If the temperature or humidity inside your home becomes dangerous, or if you use any electrically powered medical equipment, you should leave immediately. Communities typically provide warming or cooling facilities and electric charging stations.
Safety Tips for After a Power Outage
- Keep clear from power lines. Please maintain a safe distance of 35 feet from downed electrical wires and anything they may be touching. Let the police know by dialing 911.
- Just toss it out if you’re not sure what to do with it. Don’t eat anything that has been sitting out for more than 40 hours, and that includes meat and dairy products. Have your doctor explain the benefits and drawbacks of keeping your medications in the fridge.
- Stay away from electrical outlets in flooded regions. Do not enter flooded regions, and do not use any gadgets or electrical appliances that may have been exposed to water. Hire an expert to take a look at the electricity in your home.
- Protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning. Only use charcoal grills, camp stoves, and other open flame cooking appliances outside, and only in places with plenty of ventilation, at least 20 feet from any windows.