Do you know how to prepare your household for a power outage?
More than half of the world’s electricity supply comes from fossil fuels, and it’s known that the supply from this source is fast depleting. Governments worldwide are looking for ways to make the supply last until they can. Some governments schedule rotating power blackouts to conserve electricity, making people’s lives very challenging.
And it’s not helping that climate change is wreaking havoc on the planet and causing significant disturbances. Today, extreme heat, powerful typhoons, and cyclones are causing power outages everywhere.
Blackouts and power outages can be dangerous for many families worldwide. In 2018, an average of six hours of power outages were experienced in the US by each household.
What Is A Power Outage?
A power outage is an unexpected disruption in the flow of electrical power that could affect communication, water, and transportation. This could be due to a severe weather disturbance like a powerful cyclone that could damage electrical wires or extreme heat due to El Nino. In the US, 80% of power outages were due to extreme weather events.
Power outages can be very dangerous, especially during the cold and hot seasons. People can suffer from hypothermia and heat stroke when exposed to unfavorable conditions. And those who rely on electricity-powered medical devices can have a tough time, which is potentially detrimental to their health.
If your home relies on renewable energy sources like solar, a power outage can be something you could check off your list of worries. Solar panels can store energy, which can be utilized during severe weather disturbances. If you want to learn more, here is a helpful resource guide.
If your location experiences a power outage, you need to prepare for it to prevent unfortunate things from happening. Here are a few tips to help you prepare:
1. Determine Alternative Power And Light Sources
Know if your home has a generator, if it’s working and if it has fuel. This is important to do approaching the cyclone season. You need to know how to use it, its maintenance, and everything there is to know about it.
There are many types of generators. If your home is newly acquired, it may come with an old unit from the previous owner, or you can buy your portable generator. Know which appliances can be connected and what you need to prioritize.
It’s also crucial to know all the alternative light sources. Moving in the dark would be very challenging if a power outage happens at night. There are rechargeable lamps, powerful USB (universal serial bus) lights, and good old candles.
2. Have Flashlights Ready
Always prepare your flashlights and make sure they have fresh batteries, or at least know where you store your batteries. Your mobile devices have flashlights, but of course, you want to save their battery in case of emergencies.
3. Charge All Your Devices
During severe weather disturbances, make it a habit to ensure all your mobile devices, including power banks, are fully charged. Because power outages are unexpected, you can never tell.
4. Prepare Your Wood-Burning Fireplace
It’s great to have a wood-burning fireplace because it can keep you warm during power outages. Ensure that before a cyclone or the winter season starts, you have checked and cleaned the chimneys and removed all the creosote.
If you’re unable to do this, it could result in a chimney fire. Chimney fires are something you don’t want to experience in your home. You definitely don’t want your lovely home to burn to the ground.
5. Know The Location Of The Medicines And First Aid Kit
If you have sick elders and people with disabilities who live with you, it’s crucial to look after their welfare during power outages since they can’t take care of themselves. Anticipate their needs by preparing their medicines and filling in the first aid kits.
6. Disconnect Appliances
Most of the time, you experience fluctuating power before the actual power outage. This could damage your appliances and even cause a fire. To prevent this from happening, immediately disconnect all your appliances to protect them from power surges.
7. Keep The Refrigerators Close
You must ensure you have food that will last until the power resumes. During a power outage, remind your family to refrain from opening refrigerators and freezers so the food inside will not spoil.
Your refrigerator can keep the food cold for four hours, while the freezer can keep your frozen goods fresh for 48 hours. Frequently opening your fridge doors can cause its temperature to go up and lose its coldness, resulting in your food spoiling fast.
Preparing for unexpected outages is something you can do today. Consider getting an alternative source of power, such as solar. Using solar has many benefits, including reducing your carbon footprint, lower electricity costs, and an uninterruptible power supply.
You don’t have control over power outages, but preparing for them can significantly help your family.