Learn how to prepare for a power shortage before it goes dark.
Weather, accidents, storms, and not paying the electricity bill can disrupt the power that we’re so used to having. Serious damage to the power lines and the electrical grid can cause outages for days or weeks. As a homeowner, you should know how to prepare for a power shortage, as well as the safety precautions to take.
Short-Term Power Failures
Firstly, don’t panic! Check to see if your neighbors still have electricity. If they do, the problem is likely inside your home. Examine your main fuses or circuit breakers to see if they have blown or tripped. Replacing a fuse or resetting a circuit breaker may bring the light back.
Unplug all appliances with electrical components, such as microwaves, televisions, and computers. This will help to eliminate damage to your appliances from voltage surges when the electricity is restored.
Long-Term Power Failures
If you use a standby generator, be sure it has been installed and wired properly. A generator that has been installed incorrectly can be extremely dangerous when running your appliances and even when the power comes back on. It’s also important to be sure that a fresh supply of fuel to power the generator is on hand and stored properly.
To make an outage easier to cope with, keep an adequate supply of the following on hand at all times! These should be kept in a cool, dry place, and all members of the family should know where to find them:
- Battery-operated radio
- Candles and matches
- Supplies of batteries for flashlights and radios
- Basic first-aid supplies
- Non-perishable food
- Plenty of water
- The pet’s food and medications
It’s always best to be prepared for such an incident, rather than stumble around in the dark looking for your flashlight and supplies!