You weathered the storm. Whew! If your power was out for a while, you probably want a nice hot shower and a good, home-cooked meal. Ah, the luxury! Go ahead and treat yourself. Then, once you’re clean and your belly is full, it’s time to get things up and running.
Here are six things to do once the electricity comes back on:
1. Check your electronics and appliances
The surge of electricity that enters your house when the power comes back on can damage electronics and appliances. Turn them on to make sure they’re running OK. Also, check your heating system and hot water heater. If they aren’t working, look for a tripped breaker or try the reset button on the unit.
(Want to be better prepared for a future power outage? Here’s what to do before you lose power — and how to stay safe during a power outage.)
2. Reset your clocks, thermostats, and alarms
When the power comes back on, all your programmed devices need to be adjusted. Set your clocks, reprogram your thermostats, and fix any home security systems that were interrupted during the outage.
3. Clean out the fridge
Food tends to spoil when exposed to temperatures above 40 degrees for more than two hours. If you’re not sure about a particular food item, toss it. Condiments, hard cheese, butter, and juices fare better during power outages, but be careful with meat, eggs, soft cheese, and milk.
4. Restock emergency supplies
Make a list of items you used during the power outage and restock them as soon as possible. You don’t want to end up in another emergency and realize you spaced out on refilling your supply. Bottled water, batteries, and first aid items are necessities.
5. Touch base with neighbors
Now that you’re out of the dark, check up on your neighbors to see how they’re doing. If they still don’t have power, lend a hand if you can. Offer a warm meal or shower. Just make sure everyone is masked and social distanced.
6. Take notes and improve your power outage strategy
Once your home is nice and cozy, spend a moment reflecting on the successes and mistakes you made during the outage. Take this opportunity to plan ahead for the next one. Hopefully, it won’t come too soon. In the meantime, enjoy the modern miracle of electricity and remember to appreciate the little things, like running water!
Want to get to know the inner workings of your home a little better? Check out these posts:
- Outlets, panels, valves, ductwork, vents, furnaces, boilers, fixtures. You’re up to the knees in small parts that make up large systems. Understand them all with our guide to home HVAC, electricity, and plumbing systems.
- Freaked out by your furnace? Here’s how to understand your home’s heating system.