If you live in an area prone to power outages, create a plan for when the lights go out. A power outage can be mildly inconvenient or, in some cases, dangerous, so having supplies on hand will help keep your family safe. Here are seven tips to help you prepare for a power outage.
1. Get a Generator to Prepare for a Power Outage
A generator contributes convenience and peace of mind during a power outage. Purchase the right size generator for your home to run essential appliances like the refrigerator and sump pump and power the lights. Learn how to operate your generator before an emergency arises. Keep plenty of fuel on hand so you’re not out of gas when you need it most.
2. Stock Up on Water
Having a supply of clean water is essential during any power outage. Fill containers with drinkable water and store them in an accessible place. To have enough for basic needs like washing dishes, flushing toilets, and taking care of personal hygiene, you should aim for one gallon per person (or per pet) per day.
3. Assemble an Emergency Kit
An emergency kit should include necessary items like flashlights for each family member, extra batteries, a battery-operated radio, and a first aid kit. Include nonperishable foods like canned goods and energy bars, and add items for your kids, like toys and board games, to occupy them during the outage.
4. Gather Important Documents
Keep important documents, like birth certificates, Social Security cards, and insurance policies, in one place in case you need to evacuate. Assemble a list of emergency contacts, and keep this information on paper and electronically so you can access it even if you’re without power for several days.
5. Plan for Pets During a Power Outage
Keep emergency food and water supplies stored for your pets in case the power goes out. Buy a pet carrier or crate in case you need to evacuate your home.
6. Prepare an Evacuation Plan for a Prolonged Power Outage
In a long-term outage, you may need to leave your home. Create a plan with your family to determine what each person is responsible for bringing. Make sure everyone knows how to contact each other in case someone gets separated from the group.
7. Protect Your Electronics
Unplug all electronics, including computers, TVs, and small appliances, to avoid damage when the power comes back on. Use a surge protector for these devices, or keep them unplugged until the outage ends.
Being prepared for a power outage is essential, especially if you live in an area where they are common. Use these tips to feel ready if the lights go out unexpectedly.