How to keep safe during a power outage
How nice it is to live in the modern era. Leaps and bounds from the horse-and-carriage days of our forefathers. Here we are with all the luxuries of modern-day appliances, motorized vehicles; all the inventions that make life so much simpler. But, then we’re hit by a power outage. Suddenly we have more in common with our great-grandparents than we ever thought possible. Unlike our predecessors, we’re not equipped for this type of life. We rely so heavily on electricity that we’re at a loss when it’s gone. While it’s not a common-day occurrence, it’s still something we have to deal with from time to time. And we must learn how to keep safe during a power outage.
What you can do
Many things can cause a power outage; electrical storms, lightning strikes, fallen trees, winter storms, serious damage to power lines and the electrical grid can mean days or weeks of living in the past. Be patient, the problem may not be as bad as you think. Check your neighbors and see if they still have electricity. If they do, the problem could be isolated to your home. Check your fuse box and circuit. Replace any fuses or reset your circuit breakers. If the problem persists, call your electric supplier. He should be able to tell you how long the power will be out.
The return of electricity is a waiting game and really out of your hands; there are a few things you can do to make yourself and your family more comfortable. Keep these things on hand:
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- Battery-operated radio
- Candles and matches (to avoid a fire, it would be safer to use battery-operated candles)
- Basic first-aid materials (bandages, aspirin, oral thermometers, tweezers, antiseptic wipe packages, etc).
- Supply of drinking water and food
- If you have an infant, make sure you have baby supplies handy
- Unplug appliances such as microwaves, televisions and computers. If the power comes back and there’s a voltage surge your appliances could be damaged. Once the power comes back, wait a while before plugging them back in.
While power outages can occur all year round, there are different things that need to be addressed each time. Summer is a time when cold food is the priority and you should keep freezers and fridges closed in order to keep foods fresh. Wrapping blankets around refrigerators and freezers can help insulate them so food lasts longer. For winter outages, wear several layers of clothing, this provides better insulation than heavier apparel. Also keep blankets and quilts handy.
Many medicines need to be kept cool. Have alternative plans for keeping medicines cool or using power-dependent medical devices. If this is an issue, consider staying with friends or in a community center where electricity is available. Your electricity supplier should be notified in advance if you use electrical life support equipment. You should be given priority. Remember, keep safe and be patient. Your life is precious.
Water damage from power outages
The property disaster restoration experts at Soil-Away see a lot of water damage as result of power outages. The two most common are basement flooding from sump pump failure and burst pipes due to lack of heat. When a house loses power, your sump pump may fail to work. If the water is not being pumped out, it starts to fill the basement and flood the house. If heat is not working because of lack of power, home temperatures plummet causing pipes to freeze and burst. Neither situation is fun, but know that you have a solution in the restoration team at Soil-Away. Call 603-641-6555 for 24/7 water damage cleanup.
Written by E. Aceves