Summer storms in the south are nothing new. If you’re not properly prepared, it can be incredibly frustrating to experience a power outage due to the storm. You don’t know how long the power could be out depending on the size of the outage area and the ability of power companies to fix the issue and restore electricity. Because of this, it’s important to be prepared for any power outage situation. Here are a few pro tips:
Report the outage.
As soon as your power goes out (if it doesn’t come back on after a few seconds), notify the utility company. While it may be easier to assume your neighbors have already done so, the problem can be better pinpointed the more it is reported within a specific area.
Create a disaster kit.
No, having a simple emergency kit doesn’t make you a “doomsday prepper”. It simply means that you have the resources available when needed. The most important thing to have is water. Keep a few jugs around since they will come in handy if your water isn’t running or the water heater is affected. The general rule of thumb is one gallon per person per day for at least three days. Keep a case or two of bottled water as well for drinking. A minimum three-day supply of non-perishable food should be part of your kit as well. Flashlights and extra batteries or wireless chargers are a necessity too for light when needed and to keep your phone charged.
Pay attention to food in the fridge.
As soon as the power goes out, the clock is ticking on fresh food in your refrigerator and freezer. Try to avoid opening the door to check everything. If the door stays shut, your food will remain good for up to 4 hours. The freezer could maintain freshness for up to 48 hours if untouched. If the power ends up being out for longer, go ahead and eat that ice cream you’ve been holding on to and move what you can to a cooler.
Know your light sources.
In addition to a flashlight in your emergency kit, keep a few candles and lighters around as well. Grab a set of cheap, unscented candles so that you’re not burning through nicer ones quickly. If the power is out during the day, get as much natural light as you can from windows.
Keep a stash of battery-operated fans nearby. This is especially important during a southern summer! If you’re in a two-story home, stay on the lower level as much as possible. Heat rises, so it will be much warmer on the second floor.
If you experience a power outage, don’t panic. Keep a simple kit nearby with supplies you need and use your resources wisely.