Across the country, the average power outage that isn’t caused by a major event/disaster lasts about 112 minutes. Obviously, if you’re in the middle of a bad winter storm, a tornado or hurricane, or another natural disaster, that number jumps up quite a bit. We all know that severe weather can cause big problems. You may even find yourself without power for days at a time depending on the needs of your neighborhood and how quickly the power company can make repairs.
If you do find yourself without power for any length of time, it can be more than just a minor inconvenience. Keeping your family safe and taken care of during power outages is extremely important.
With that in mind, let’s go over a few tips you can use to protect yourself, your home, and the people you love during a power outage.
Keeping Your Food Supply Safe
Most refrigerators will keep food cold for about four hours, while freezers can keep your food safe for up to two days. Every time you open the door to the fridge or freezer, you’re letting out some of that cold air, so that time will decrease.
Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed during a power outage. If it lasts longer than four hours, be sure to check the food in your fridge when the power comes back on to make sure it’s still safe to eat. When it doubt, though, it’s best to throw it out – especially if it’s something like meat or dairy.
Turn Off Appliances
You probably don’t think much about unplugging your refrigerator, oven, or other major appliances in your house on a daily basis. But, when the power goes out for any length of time, it’s a good idea to either turn those appliances off or unplug them.
Why bother if they’re not getting power anyway? When the power does finally return, it can cause momentary surges of electricity. These spikes can damage everything from appliances to electronics. It’s a safe precautionary measure to make sure they’re all off ahead of time.
Keep Powering Your Home
If you live in an area that experiences frequent power outages or one that can reach extremely cold or hot temperatures, it can be worth it to purchase a generator. Whole house generators are strong enough to keep your appliances running and ensure you have proper heat or air conditioning, as needed.
If you do decide to get a generator, make sure it’s used outside the home and at least 20 feet away from your windows to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide getting into the house.
Generators are a great way to be prepared, but you should also have other supplies on hand, such as flashlights, batteries, portable charging devices for your phone, and nonperishable food.
Check On Your Neighbors
No one ever knows when the power might go out, but being as prepared as possible can keep you and your family safe. As a final tip, be sure to check on the people around you who might not have things like generators and who might not be as prepared for power outages. The elderly and people who live alone should especially be looked after.
The good news? Power outages don’t last forever. By playing it safe and making smart preparation choices, you’ll be ready for any unexpected loss of electricity within your home.