Power outages are inconvenient. And if they continue on for a long period of time they are a cause for concern. If the power goes out in one area of your home, there is a good chance that the issue is within your own electrical system and a breaker may need resetting. However, if your entire home loses power and you step outside to find street lights and neighbors have also been left in the dark, you should take these steps to keep your family safe.
Call the Electrical Company
The first step is to call your local electrical company. Informed representatives will be able to give you the most up-to-date information about the outage. They will also be able to tell you when power is expected to be restored. Ask to be added to any alert systems they have so that you can be in the know as things advance.
If severe weather has been going on in your area, it is best to stay inside as your home will be the safest place. If you must leave your house during a storm, try not to drive if possible as downed or blown over power lines may still be live and pose an electrocution hazard.
If the power outage is caused by something like a winter storm, it is best to stay bundled up inside as well. Have each family member put on several layers of clothing and bring all blankets to one spot within your home. Try to keep one room in your house as warm as possible, and if you have a fireplace, build a fire.
Power Outage Preparation
No matter the cause of the power outage, there are some things you can do to be prepared.
It is a good idea to have a stock of non-perishable food items as well as a way to cook food if the power is out for an extended period of time. Keeping your fridge and freezer closed to avoid letting out the cool air will help prevent food from perishing. It is also important to have plenty of water on hand, as well as any medications that may be needed.
Other items that may be useful are candles and flashlights. Be sure that you always have working batteries in your flashlights. One safety tip is to unplug all large electrical appliances and flip all light switches off. Keeping one light switch in the on position is a great way to stay aware if the power returns.
With everyone having cell phones, it is important to have a way to keep them charged. Investing in charging banks or charging cords that can be plugged into a car will ensure you are able to stay connected even if the power is out.
Note: During a power outage you should minimize the amount of time spent on your phone, even with a backup charger available. Try to keep your phone full of juice and only use it when reaching out to the electrical company or emergency contacts.
For those who want to be extra prepared, owning a generator is an option. Generators can be used to power lights and small appliances. They are fueled by either gasoline or propane, so it is important to make sure you have a way to keep them fueled.
Installing a Standby Generator
If you want to install a standby generator, it is important to have it done by a professional. Improper installation can be extremely dangerous. After your generator is installed, make sure to test it regularly and keep plenty of fuel on hand in case of an emergency.
Frye Electric, Inc. are pros in the electrical field and can provide you with information about generators and ensure safe installation if you decide a standby generator is right for you.
If you find yourself in a long term power outage be sure to check in on elderly neighbors and if you can safely drive to a different location, consider moving your family to stay with friends or family until the power resumes in your home.