In order to stay safe during a power outage, there are many steps to follow. First we will go over things when there is a minor outage, one that lasts 4 hours or less and then we’ll go over when they last longer than that.
4 hours or less
- Be sure to use only flashlights, candles can be a fire hazard.
- Unplug any major appliances that you were using when the power shut off. Things such as stove, TV, or fridge. When the power comes back on, you don’t want a surge of energy to go to them and possibly cause damage. Also, so you know when the power does come back on, leave one light on somewhere in the house.
- Food in the refrigerator should be okay, as long as the fridge has remained closed for less than 4 hours. If the temperature inside the fridge was higher than 40 degrees F for more than 2 hours, toss any perishables such as poultry, eggs, leftovers or fish. If the temp reaches 90 degrees F or higher, any perishables left in the fridge should be tossed after an hour.
- Carbon Monoxide!
- If you are using a back-up generator, make sure you are compliant with any regulations and that you take proper precautions for detecting carbon monoxide.
More than 4 hours
- Emergency Kit!
- Have an emergency kit with supplies to last for 72 hours. Flashlight, food, water, first aid kit, batteries, battery powered radio, blankets, jackets, prescription medication, pain killer, upset stomach medicine, and something to keep you entertained like a deck of cards. This is just a list of the basics that one should have in their kit. Some items that would be a plus is a tarp, duct tape, knife, masks, flares, etc.
- Have non-perishable food in an emergency kit at hand. Canned food, with either a manual can opener or cans with tabs. Crackers, beef jerky, dried fruits, granola, all items with a long shelf life. Make sure you have food stowed away for any critters as well, canned dog/cat food, dehydrated lizard food, bird seeds, or whatever they may eat. Maybe stash away some chocolates too, just to keep you in a good mood 😉
- It is recommended to have 1 gallon of water/person in the household for each day that the power is out. In case the power is out longer than anticipated, know where to find water elsewhere. Defrost the ice in your freezer, drink the water from the pipes in your home, or rain water from outside. For this, it may be a good idea to have chlorine or iodine tablets in your emergency kit to treat the water.
- Have an evacuation plan that involves everyone in the family, including pets. Even if you don’t want to leave your home, after a few days of outage, it might be necessary to crash at a friend/family member’s house or find a local shelter that can at least give you a warm meal and a heated room to sleep in.
We hope it doesn’t ever come to this drastic of an outage, but it’s always good to prepare for the worst but hope for the best. For more helpful tips regarding energy efficiency, HVAC information, and general info about your home, keep up to date with our blog. Follow us on Twitter and like our page on Facebook and for more information about Supreme Air Systems, visit www.SupremeAir.net. Thanks for reading!