When extreme weather is brewing, it’s a good idea to start preparing for a power outage.
Even though most storms or heat waves don’t knock the power out, being prepared is better than getting caught with dead batteries in your flashlight. It can save you money and keep you safe.
Here are 5 things to do before the power goes out:
Take care of the basics
Everyday activities can get tricky during a power outage, so take care of your basic needs. Enjoy a nice hot shower, clean up around the house, and cook a good meal. While you’re at it, gather any medications and other necessities into an easily accessible place.
Store some water reserves
Pumps and water heaters can’t work without electricity. This can make it difficult to shower, flush the toilet, and wash dishes. Before the power goes out, fill up your bathtub and as many buckets as possible with water. Freezing some containers and putting them in the fridge can help keep it cold.
Create an inventory of emergency items
Put together a storm kit with a whistle, blankets, garbage bags, batteries, and first aid supplies. You’ll also want three days’ worth of water and nonperishable food items. Take a walk around your house and think about anything else you might need and try to get to the store as soon as possible, as shelves tend to empty out fast when a big storm is approaching. A well-prepared household is prepped for 72 hours without electricity and basic services.
Charge batteries and unplug
Cellphones, laptops, medical devices … it’s easy to overlook how many things we use that need batteries or outlets. Charge your batteries before the power goes out. Then, unplug your electronics and appliances (other than your fridge) to prevent damage in the event of a power surge when it comes back on.
To go a step further, add a power surge protector to your electrical panel and use surge-protecting power strips.
The average power outage lasts for about 6 hours, so hang in there!
However, just in case you’re without electricity for longer, check out our post on what to do during a power outage. Either way, take precautions recommended by your local officials and trust your gut if it’s telling you to reach out for help.
For more power storm preparation tips, check out these posts:
- Blizzard on the way? Follow these steps to prepare your home for a winter storm.
- How to protect your home after a power outage.