Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark: How to Prepare for Power Outages
Power outages can range from mildly inconvenient to a crisis depending on the severity of the cause and the amount of time an area goes without power. However, when it comes to preparation, you are anything but powerless.
Keep Alternative Sources of Light
Invest in flashlights for every major room in the house, and keep them in accessible areas such as:
- Kitchen drawers
- Bathroom cabinets
- Entertainment centers
Make sure you have the appropriate back-up batteries for each flashlight. For rooms where you’ll want to be more hands-free, like the bathroom, choose flashlights with a hook.
If you choose to use candles, keep a supply of matches in a cool, dry place. Place candles away from flammable materials like curtains and furniture. Keep all candles and matches out of reach of young children and pets.
Protect Your Electronics
After a power outage is fixed, your home may experience a surge of electricity, which can harm your electrical appliances. If the power goes out, unplug all your valuable electronics—especially TVs, laptops, phones, microwaves, etc.
Check your devices and outlets for scorch marks before turning them on after a power outage.
Store Food and Water
You’ll need at least two quarts of water stored for each person every day. However, it’s better to have a gallon. Remember to rotate your water storage as needed.
Include a couple of buckets in your emergency supply. You can fill your bathtubs full of water from the tap immediately as the power goes out and use buckets to flush toilets, depending on your type of pump, without using your drinking water supply.
Maintain a supply of non-perishable foods that don’t require a lot of cooking. Try to have at least a three-to-five-day supply of food your family will actually want to eat. Make sure you have manual can and bottle openers.
Avoid eating any potentially spoiled food. Your refrigerator, if full, should stay cool for around 24 hours if you keep it closed. A full freezer may last up to 48 hours.
Keep your pets in mind while gathering supplies. Make sure you have food and water for them as well.
Prepare First Aid Kits and Medicine
If you have any medications you need to keep cool, invest in an ice cooler. Make sure you have ice on hand to keep it cold. You can use coolers to keep some of your perishable food cold as well.
Either buy or put together first aid kits. The Red Cross provides a good guide on what to include. Don’t forget any medications specific to your family’s needs.
Charge Your Communication Devices
Your cell phone can be your connection to valuable information during an outage, but it’s useless if it runs out of battery. Invest in a car charger as well as a solar or crank-powered charger. You won’t regret having a few options.
You may also want to invest in a battery-, solar-, or crank-powered radio in case you don’t have cell service during an emergency. Don’t forget to keep extra batteries around.
Follow Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) for up-to-date information on power outages. Their website provides information on how to report power outages as well as more tips for what to do to stay safe. Keep a list of utility numbers to contact during an emergency.
Power outages can be stressful, but proper preparation can help keep you safer and more comfortable. If your home or property is damaged during a storm or outage, call SERVPRO® of South Everett to make your home “Like it never even happened.”
With our 24/7 emergency service, we’re there when you need us most. Call us at 425-367-4484.