Let’s face it, whether you’re prepared or not, a power outage can be a real nuisance. But just because the power is down doesn’t mean you have to stop having fun or living comfortably. Here’s how to prepare for a power outage (and stay organized while you’re at it).
Have an emergency preparedness kit that is full of batteries, cash, critical phone numbers, and first-aid supplies. Make sure you have enough nonperishable food items and water to last you and your family through a blackout. Having these ready and accessible can alleviate stress during a power outage.
The power could be out for a short period of time, or it could take days for your lights to come back on. You may want to pass the time with books and board games. Take advantage of the opportunity to unplug and have fun with your family.
Your cellphone, laptop, medical devices, and any other gadgets and appliances that require power to work should always be charged – just in case. (You wouldn’t want the power to go off with your phone battery being lower than 10%!) This is when battery-powered alternative charging methods will come in handy, and you can easily stock up online for cheap.
You want to be able to keep your food cold during a power outage, and because your fridge won’t be working, you need a back-up plan that goes beyond just keeping the door closed. Empty your fridge and freezer and put your food in coolers with lots of ice or water-filled plastic containers. Having a digital quick-response thermometer on hand will allow you to check the internal temperature of foods so you know what is safe to eat.
Gas stations rely on electricity, which means that if your area is without power, you could find yourself unable to fill up. Make sure that your tank is always on the fuller side so that you don’t ever find yourself stranded. Filling extra containers with gas is another smart way to plan ahead in case of an emergency, and having a supply of gas at home will ensure you’re well equipped.
Listening to NOAA radio stations will keep you abreast of updates and emergency plans in your area. You can find a NOAA station online or you can download the app, but the best way to make sure you’re able to connect to the station is to purchase a battery-operated radio ahead of time and have it in your home in case the power suddenly shuts off.
Think ahead and be ready for a power outage by having alternative light sources in the house. Flashlights, candles, and battery-powered lights and lamps will be life savers when you’re caught in the dark. A generator is also a great purchase and can be critical in a blackout.