Electricity. It’s something you don’t really think about… until it’s not available to you. Then you realize just how much you rely on electricity! When a big storm blows in and the lights start flickering and go out—suddenly you’re not sure what to do!
Well, we’re here to help with some great tips about what to do when the power goes out, and how to maintain your family’s safety and comfort.
#1. Make Sure Everyone Is Safe
If you have a family member who might be uncomfortable or in danger because they can’t see, get to them and help them first.
#2. Check To See If You Are The Only House Impacted
Look out the windows and see if any other house on the street has power. This will help you narrow down the source of the outage:
- if the other houses on the street are dark then the power has gone off throughout your neighborhood (be aware that some houses, such as those on the other side of the street may be on a different line and might not be connected to the same grid as you are).
- If no other houses on the street are dark then the power has gone off in your house alone.
#3. Get Flashlights Or Use The Flashlight Function On Your Phone
Flashlights will help you get around the house safely without banging into furniture or knocking over that priceless antique. Be wary of how much you rely on these, though, because if the power is out for a while, you might not be able to recharge your phone battery!
#4. Turn Off Your Electronics
Go around the house and turn off the electronics (especially sensitive electronics) that were on when the power went off—such as televisions, stereos, computers, etc. That way when the power comes back on, you won’t get a huge surprise when those things suddenly turn back on. And even consider unplugging them in case of a power surge.
#5. Start Up A Generator
If you need power, start up your generator (if you do not already have a whole-home generator that automatically turns on). If you don’t need power right away, consider waiting. You should especially use your generator for the following reasons:
- If there is heavy rainfall and your sump pump needs to work
- If there is critical equipment in your house that needs to continue operating
Consider running your generator periodically but turning it off then not absolutely critical. This will save fuel. Never ever run your generator in an enclosed building, such as a house, garage, or shed. The exhaust fumes can be deadly.
#6. Consider Your Refrigeration Needs Depending on how long your power will be out for, you may need to decide on the food in your fridge and freezer. As long as you keep the fridge or freezer door shut, and if it’s not too hot outside, then most of your food will likely remain safe for a couple of days (which is usually long enough for many power companies to get the electricity back on). However, if you think your food will spoil before the power comes back on, consider eating that food first or cooking it up on the barbecue to enjoy!