Planning for A Power Outage
Our power supply in the United States is relatively secure. Depending on where you live, though, the weather may have an impact on that. If there’s a tornado or hurricane on the way, these power outage tips will help you to stay safe and healthy.
Devise an emergency plan. How will you get water? What about food? How quickly can you cook up all that meat in the freezer?
Start with water. It’s wise to store up some drinking water ahead of time. Fill a few old plastic soda bottles about three-quarters full. Place these in the freezer. If the power’s out for some time, these bottles will keep the essentials in your freezer colder. Ice packs are a great alternative, but this way, you also have water to drink when the ice melts.
It’s difficult to store up enough water for all your needs for two weeks. Get creative now. How can you catch rainwater? Is there a lake nearby? Can you make use of greywater?
Consider groceries for the next two weeks. Create an emergency supply of food. Stick to goods that don’t require refrigeration. Get powdered milk, tinned foods, noodles, and so on.
How will you heat food or boil water? A small camping stove and a propane fuel tank is an excellent option to have on hand.
Alternative lighting is also essential. Torches are good, but the batteries can run out. Candles or oil lamps are alternatives, but you must be careful of fire risks. You can find solar-powered light sets at reasonable rates. Some also have a radio and USB charging ports.
Avoid These Power Outage Mistakes
When it comes to a power outage, it’s tempting to consider switching energy providers. You’ve got more important things to worry about, though. Here are some common mistakes that you should avoid.
Not unplugging all your electrical devices is a bad mistake. The power could flicker on and off, or surge when it’s restored. None of these is good for the health of your devices. We’d recommend unplugging everything if you don’t have surge protection. Switch off your water tank at the service board too.
Don’t take a chance with food. Our tip about using the water bottles to keep goods fresh is only going to go so far. Be especially careful with perishable foods like milk. Also, watch those leftovers. Bacterial growth sets in fast when the refrigerator is off.
On that note, get rid of any items that have spoiled immediately. When it’s a shorter cut, keep the freezer sealed to maintain as much of the cold as possible.
Don’t leave candles or oil lamps unattended. Also, be careful when placing them. They shouldn’t be anywhere near curtains or other flammable materials. Keep candles and matches out of the reach of little fingers too.
Don’t run your generator unless you know all the safeguards. The fumes are dangerous in a confined space. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations on how to use the generator safely.
Don’t use rainwater or other water that you’ve collected without boiling it or sterilizing it first.
How to Make Kids Feel Safe and Entertained During A Power Outage
Kids are pretty resilient, but they do like their routines. A power outage disrupts their routine. The dark may also frighten them. Distraction is a useful tool here. Here are some ways to distract your children.
Assign everyone in the home tasks to accomplish. Where possible, keep the regular chore routine in place. Other chores that you can assign include collecting sticks, putting out buckets for rainwater, and so on. If your kids are anxious, these chores can help them to feel less powerless.
Play games. Now’s the time to dust off your Monopoly Set and start playing again. If your kids don’t like board games or are too young to play, have them make up their own games.
A power outage is a great time to start reading to your children again. They’ll find the sound of your voice soothing, and you’ll get a chance to bond.
Flashlights can be fun. If you have plenty of batteries on hand, why not play with the flashlights? Set up scavenger hunts for kids in the yard at night. You’ll need to accompany them, of course, but the whole family can have fun this way.
Why not camp out? You can set up a campfire and tent in the backyard and take advantage of the peace. Do make smores and tell scary stories to complete the illusion.
A power out is inconvenient but, if you prepare adequately, you and your family can have a lot of fun. Put your plan in place and get ready today.