How to Prepare for a Power Outage: A Step by Step Guide

how to prepare for a power outage guide prepper losing electricity

You're preparing for a power outage? Start here first.

In the United States, more than 145 million people went without power for an average of four hours in 2016. With so many people effected, it's more important now than ever to have a plan in place.

But the real question is, what to do during a power outage? Many families don't know what to do when the power goes out or have an understanding of how long the power outage will last.

For those looking for the best, check out this exclusive tips of how to prepare for a power outage with this step-by-step guide.

Read on to learn more about how to prepare for a power outage.


Consider Purchasing a Back-Up Generator

A power outage occurs when the electrical power stops functioning unexpectedly.

An unexpected power outage can disrupt transportation, water, and communication. It's event can even cause water and food contamination and spoilage. In the event of long disruptions, a whole community can be effected, like closures of:

  • Retail business
  • Grocery stores
  • Gas stations
  • ATMs
  • Banks

It's vital to be prepared and to protect yourself throughout the duration of a power outage. It's important to remember to keep refrigerators and freezers closed to maintain the temperature of food and beverages. 

Foods will stay cold for up to four hours if the freezer or refrigerator remains shut. Should the power outage last longer than that, you'll have to toss out the food.


Know These Safety Tips

Never use a gas stove to heat your home. Be sure to disconnect all electronics and appliances in your home to keep from permanently damaging them in the even of an electrical surge.

Consider purchasing a back-up generator to give yourself a second energy source in the event of a power outage. Remember, generators should only be used outdoors and be kept far away from windows.

A generator transforms mechanical energy into electrical power. In everyday life, generators are used to power things such as:

  • Power stations
  • Roadway vehicles
  • Sailboats
  • Electrical scooters

Consider using an extension cord to make sure the generator is at least twenty feet away from your house. Never set up a generator where water may be present. 

For reasonable back-up generators, be sure to consult this buyer's guide to make sure you know what a quality product looks like.

If you can safely do so, consider going to a different location for cooling, heating, and electrical needs. Look for a community location like a church. Remember to check on your neighbors, especially if they have young children or are older adults. 


Have Extra Supplies on Hand

It's imperative to have an extra supplies kit on hand in the event of an emergency power outage. Be sure to assemble all materials into a single container. Consider using a duffel bag or a plastic storage unit. Add supplies such as:

  • Water
  • Food
  • Hand crank or battery-powered radio
  • Flashlight
  • Candles
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle
  • Mask
  • Garbage bags
  • Manual can opener
  • Maps of the local area

You should have at least one gallon of water per each person per day for a three-day period for both sanitation and drinking. Use non-perishable food. Consider prescription and non-prescription medications to add as well. 

You can never have too many candles. Always keep a stock of cheap candles and avoid purchasing the pricier scented ones. 

Depending on where you live and the type of emergency, it may also be helpful to have a fire extinguisher, matches, sleeping bags or warm blankets, and important documents on hand as well.
Should you have a child or pet in your household, add items such as:

  • Baby formula
  • Diapers
  • Bottles
  • Wipes
  • Pet food

Remember to place it in an easily accessible location that would be easy to get to and see in a power outage. Try putting it on the main level of your residence. Be sure to avoid stairs. 


Be an Active Communicator 

Each member of the household should know the location of the emergency supplies and have a way to get access to it. Be sure it's kept in a dry place and in a tightly closed container. The kit should be updated on an annual basis.

You should have an emergency kit stored at work, home, and in your car for optimal power outage preparedness. You never know where an emergency might occur.

Consider signing up for local alerts in your areas that will inform you of inclement weather in the area. Be sure your smoke detectors and carbon-monoxide detectors are fully charged and are located in central locations of your house.


Report the Power Outage

Be sure to notify your utility services and report the power outage immediately. Never assume your neighbors have done so already. Many services allow you to both text and call a power outage in.

The more reports, the merrier. Don't worry about others around you also calling in. The more people who contact the utility service, the better the company is able to get access to the extent of those effected.

After you've reported the incident, keep your mind occupied. Your mental and emotion wellbeing should be a top priority. Have board games, cards, and books on hand to ease your state of mind.


How to Prepare for a Power Outage

If you're interested in learning how to prepare for a power outage, then it's important to do your research ahead of time. If you're unsure of what steps to follow, we've got you covered here!

What are you waiting for? Your power outage plan awaits!

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