Power outages don’t often hit with incredible frequency but, when they do strike, they often make home life a bit more difficult. The inability to charge your devices or take a hot shower can be a pain, but there are some things you can do to prepare for an outage and make waiting one out a bit more bearable:
• Stock a drawer, cabinet, or closet with supplies like flashlights, candles, user-safe lighters, and matches. (Note: due to potential fire hazards, keep candles, matches, and lighters out of reach of children.)
• Include a battery-powered or hand-crank radio in your family’s emergency kit.
• If you have an electric garage door, know how to open it manually. If you regularly enter your home through the garage, keep a spare key with you in case the garage door doesn’t open.
• For electronic devices, storing one or several fully-charged portable chargers can help you keep your devices working longer.
• Turn off and unplug any unnecessary electronics and electric equipment, especially those that were on when the outage occurred. If devices remain on until the power returns, electrical surges or spikes could damage them.
• Restrict travel, especially by car, as traffic lights can be off and contribute to road congestion and accidents.
• Open fridges and freezers as little as possible to preserve food. During an outage, an unopened fridge will keep food cold for roughly four hours. A full freezer will do the same for about 48 hours!
• If your power outage will continue for more than one day, use a cooler stocked with ice to further preserve items from your freezer.
• Use generators safely.
If your home is equipped with a hardwired Halo, you’ll have peace-of-mind knowing that your smoke alarm works in a power outage for up to seven days and, with Halo+, you’ll also have a working weather radio to bring updates directly to your home. Our friends at the Red Cross have even more great power outage resources
, so be sure to check them out!