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How to Prepare Your Home for a Power Outage
How to Prepare Your Home for a Power Outage
August 14, 2023

How to Prepare Your Home for a Power Outage

A power outage can bring more than just a temporary pause to our daily routines. It can disrupt essential services, communication, and even our safety. Preparing your home for such events can help you equip yourself and your loved ones with a layer of protection and peace of mind. At Neighborhood Electric, we offer electrical repair service for local clients, including generator installation and surge protection. If you’re wondering how to handle a blackout on your property, read below for some essential tips and tricks.

Crafting Your Home's Power Outage Survival Kit

We cannot predict when power outages might strike, but we can certainly be ready for them. An emergency kit is your first line of defense against the inconveniences and potential dangers of a power disruption. A well-prepared emergency kit can provide essential tools and resources during the first critical hours of a power outage.

What to Include: 

  • Flashlight: It might seem basic, but it's invaluable in the dark.
  • Batteries: Ensure a mix of types, and check them periodically.
  • Manual Can Opener: If your pantry has canned goods, this is a must-have.
  • First-Aid Kit: Accidents can happen; be ready.
  • Radio: A battery-operated or hand-crank option to stay updated.

Once assembled, place your kit in a cool, dry place, accessible to all family members. Regularly inspect its contents, replacing or replenishing items as needed.

Securing Must-Have Supplies

When the power goes out, it's more than just lights that are affected. Every day comforts and necessities can become scarce. Preparing your pantry and home can make the experience less stressful. Stock up on non-perishable food items. Think canned fruits, vegetables, beans, and dry goods like rice and pasta. Store enough water for each family member. As a rule, a gallon per person per day should suffice for drinking and minimal hygiene needs. Water purification tablets can also come in handy if your supply dwindles. Ensure you have a stockpile of essential medications, baby supplies, and pet food for furry family members. Consider adding board games or books for entertainment.

Maintaining a Cozy Temperature

Staying warm, especially in colder climates, becomes a primary concern during power disruptions. With a little foresight, you can ensure your living space remains comfortable. Insulating windows and doors can make a massive difference in retaining heat. Use weather stripping, draft stoppers, or thermal curtains. Kerosene heaters and wood-burning stoves are excellent temporary heating solutions. Remember always to follow safety guidelines, like ensuring proper ventilation. Dressing in layers can help trap body heat. If the power outage extends into the night, sleeping bags and blankets can provide additional warmth. In cases of longer-term outages, especially in extreme cold, consider temporarily relocating to a friend's house or a community center that has power.

Setting Up a Standby Generator

When the lights go out, a backup generator can be your beacon in the dark, providing an alternative power source to keep essential appliances running. Generators come in different types, with portable and standby generators being the most common. Portable generators are mobile and can be positioned outdoors as needed, but they require manual starting. On the other hand, standby generators are permanently installed by an electrician and automatically kick in during power outages. Regardless of the type, safety is most important. Never operate a generator indoors because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Regularly check your generator, ensuring it has fresh fuel and its components are in working order. This ensures reliability when you most need it.

Shielding Electronics from Surges

A power outage is not the only electrical event that can jeopardize your electronics. Power surges, which are sudden and brief voltage increases, can damage or destroy appliances and gadgets. These can be caused by various factors, including lightning, large appliances turning on/off, or issues with the power company. Over time, these surges can degrade the performance of your electronics or even cause immediate failure. To ensure comprehensive protection for all electronic equipment in a home, a whole-house surge protection system is the best choice. Unlike basic surge protectors, which only defend individual devices or specific outlets, whole-house surge protection shields the entire electrical system from external surges. This means that every device connected to your home's electrical system, from kitchen appliances to entertainment systems, is protected.

Do You Need an Electrical Repair Service or Generator Installation?

While a power outage can be challenging, your preparedness level determines the impact it has on your life. Take these proactive measures, and you'll not only weather the storm but do so with relative ease and security. Get the help you need by calling the specialists at Neighborhood Electric. Whether you need an inspection, a new generator, or a whole house surge protector installation, our team is ready to help you stay prepared for anything. Contact our office for details or to schedule a time with a qualified electrician in your area.