How to cope with power blackouts
In the modern age, we rely on power for nearly everything. Without electricity, our televisions won’t turn on, computers don’t work, and after a short time, our mobile phones are useless. Those who rely on purified water can’t get it because their filtration systems are no longer effective. However, power outages are also a relatively common part of life, and it’s best to learn how to handle them early on – and the best way to deal with them is to be prepared.
Safeguard Your Home
One of the first things you should do in the event of a power outage is to shut off any lights, appliances, and other devices that were running when the power went out. Any residual electricity that remains within the units can cause sparks and/or a short circuit and result in damage to the appliance. In the worst case scenario, this remaining power could cause a fire within your home. When the power first goes out, wait a few seconds to ensure it’s an outage and not a surge, then turn off the power throughout your home.
The next thing you should is ensure you have all the necessary supplies in case the power doesn’t come back on for a while, including blankets, candles, clean water, and food that can be eaten without being cooked.
It’s a good idea to have a fully charged mobile phone tucked away in a drawer somewhere. While many people use smart phones all the time, their battery life has never been anything remarkable. In an emergency, having a spare phone can make the different between life and death. However, it can also be a good idea to have a landline; while mobile phone service may fail, landlines can work even if the power is out. Another thing to keep in mind is that when too many people try to contact one another on a mobile phone network, it’s impossible for anyone to get through.
Gravity-Based Water Filtration
When shopping for a water filtration system, search for one that’s gravity based. This means it will continue to function even if the power is out. Most water systems in modern homes do not rely on electricity from the home itself; however, if the power outage is city wide, water still won’t be available. It’s a good idea to keep some on hand at all times, whether in jugs or in bottled form. A hand-held water purifier can also be a wise investment.
Ask yourself this: where would you be without your kitchen appliances? Do you know how to make a meal without electricity? Most kitchens are equipped with a number of different appliances that rely on electricity, such as microwaves, toasters, and even ovens. However, in the event of a power outage, not one of those things is useful.
The best option is to switch to a gas-powered stove. Not only does this continue to work when there is no power, but gas powered stoves are easier to cook on. They allow for a more even heat distribution than electric stoves, and the food just tastes better. That said, with a gas powered stove, you could cook your normal meals (even toast!) without electricity by using a skillet.
When the power goes out, make sure to close the refrigerator and freezer doors. Only open them when necessary; because these appliances are insulated, the food inside should remain cool for at least a day. Any longer than that, however, and you’ll want to find a cooler and fill it with any ice you can find, then place any perishables within the cooler. Do this as soon as possible; the last thing you’ll want to deal with is a refrigeration unit full of spoiled food.
Learn to Live Like Pioneers
The first thing most people do when they come home is turn on their lights and the television. However, power outages mean neither of those things work – and neither will most other home appliances, including heating and cooling systems.
In the event of a power outage, make sure to open the windows to allow airflow in if it’s a hot day, or keep them closed if it’s a cooler day. As night approaches, make sure you have candles on hand to provide you and your family with light to see by.
Using a Generator
While a generator is certainly a viable option, they can be expensive to run and loud to the point of unpleasantness. Only use a generator when it looks like the power outage will last for more than a few days, or someone in your family relies on electricity to power medical devices.
When looking for a generator, make sure it is powerful enough to supply your entire home with the necessary amount of electricity. Many generators will only power a few appliances at a time. However, another thing to keep in mind is that some smaller generators can be useful for powering a coffee pot first thing in the morning, or a similar, small appliance for convenience purposes.
Coping with power outages doesn’t have to be difficult. While they’re never really pleasant, they occur often enough. A fallen powerline from a traffic accident, a bad storm that knocks out a cable, or any other variety of potential problems can eliminate power from your home. The key is being prepared. While most power outages won’t last more than a few hours at most, you should always be ready to deal with one that lasts much longer than that. Begin preparing now so that you’re ready for whatever situation you may face — not only for your sake, but also for your family.