Whether it’s an incoming storm, natural disaster or just a flaky power grid that needs repairs, there are times when you’ll experience regular blackouts and this can be an incredibly stressful period of time. To help you prepare for power outages so that you can keep on living your life – even in the dark, here are a couple of handy tips to keep in mind.
Note: Some links in this post are affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase. Affiliate relationships include, but are not limited to Amazon Associates, Walmart.com, and Etsy.
Create an Emergency Plan Folder
This is especially useful if you have children around that might be home alone when the blackouts happen. Put together a folder that contains a list of information such as what to do, what emergency services to contact on the phone and a list of locations in the home for emergency supplies such as candles and food rations if required. You may want to get your family together to write up this plan so that everyone knows what to do.
Store Extra Supplies at Home
Water is of course the most important item to have. When you finish a large bottle of vinegar in your home, rinse it out, fill it with water and store it. This water can be used to water pets or help flush toilets. By adding a drop of non chlorine bleach to it or heating it to boiling then cooling back down, humans can then drink it. You can also stock up bottled drinking water to keep on hand for these emergencies.
Depending on the severity of the power outages, you may need to have an emergency store of food. Canned foods work well, but packaged snacks and rations can also help out. If you’ve got ample warning regarding a storm, then it’s possible to purchase short-life supplies that can last the entire outage. However, if you’re preparing for something unpredictable, it’s best to have a relatively large supply of canned and non-perishable foods. Try to get foods that you can eat without cooking, if possible, and keep an eye on the expiration dates.
In addition to these supplies, you might want to carry things like extra batteries as well. Phone chargers, battery banks and even car chargers to use your car battery are great options to keep your devices powered during a power outage.
Consider an External Generator
If you’d like to keep the power on even just for a bit, then you might want to consider installing a Generac or similar generator. This is especially important if you do important work online that needs to be saved on a regular basis, and if you’re worried about your devices shorting due to a power outage. A generator should give you plenty of time to continue working, but if you’re only concerned about protecting your devices then a surge protector or a UPS backup battery will be sufficient.
A generator is capable of powering your entire home for a short period of time and can be turned on and off as needed to conserve energy. If you want to see if yours is in good working order, you could get a hold of a Murfreesboro generator maintenance company, or a company near you, to be sure. This is also necessary to power some types of heat in the very cold months or to keep a freezer cold if your freezer is full and you don't want all that food money to go to waste.
If your power is out, you may not be able to buy fuel for your generator. To be prepared, you should always have a small amount on hand. Check your manufacturers instructions to see what yours runs on. Sometimes it is a mixture of gasoline and an oil additive. Be sure you have extra of the oil additive and a gas tank siphon on hand so that you could siphon gas out of your vehicle's tank if the rolling blackout is taking a long time.
The downside is that these machines are very noisy, so you will want to operate it during the daytime if you live in a neighborhood so as not to disturb others' sleep. Also expect neighbors to come by to recharge their cell phones or ask you to store items in your refrigerator or freezer as they can hear that you have power.
Things to do Before A Storm
If you have time before a storm is coming that may put out your power today, here is a list of things to do. If the storm comes faster than you finish the list, jump right to the last two items…
- Quickly contact teen and adult children and your spouse that are not with you to notify them of the coming storm.
- Pull the car in the garage in case of hail.
- Bring in outdoor loose items: lawn ornaments, wooden signs, lawn furniture, small and medium size yard toys, trash cans, hanging flowers or plants and anything that could blow away.
- Let your dogs outside to relieve themselves, then be sure all animals are inside.
- Close windows in vehicles and your home.
- Bring in the mail and delivery packages.
- Charge any devices that provide light: cell phone, laptop, tablet, etc. Note that old cell phones can still be used for dialing 911. Also charge external battery backups.
- Put clothes into the dryer from the washing machine.
- Fill all pitchers, thermoses, water bottles, Tupperware, pretty much anything with a lid – with water from the tap. Check your recyclables container too for empty juice bottles, empty vinegar bottles, etc. Even empty milk jugs could be used to help flush a toilet. Store the clean ones in the freezer first. They will help keep your food cold longer and serve as a backup water supply. Next, store water bottles in all the empty spaces in the refrigerator. Finally line up all the remaining ones on the tables and counters, not the floor unless they are out of the way of tripping. I do not recommend filling bathtubs if you have small children – to prevent drowning. But if it is all teens and adults in your home, you may want to fill the bathtubs for extra water. Use the room temp water first, then the refrigerated water, and finally the frozen. You need water for drinking, pet waters, brushing teeth, washing yourself, cleaning hands, cooking and flushing toilets.
- Run a load of dirty dishes in the dishwasher.
- Check that your battery operated radio is working, if flashlights are working and replace batteries as needed.
- Clear the floors everywhere in your home. This is not a time to trip and get hurt. Be sure you have clear, easy escape routes.
- Unplug all electronics. There will be power surges during and after the storm.
- Carry the radio, blankets, pillows, your Bible (reading the Psalms is comforting during storms), purse/wallet/car keys, flashlights or lanterns, diaper bag, beverages, snacks, decks of cards, kids comfort items like stuffed animals to the safest place in your home for this type of weather coming.
- Gather your family and pets into the designated spot. Pray, wait and keep each other busy and encouraged.
Power outages can be boring. Sure, it’s an excuse not to work and spend time with the kids, but it can get rather frustrating when you’re limited in what you can do. It’s a good idea to try and stay entertained during a power outage in order to keep yourself distracted. This can be a good time to read a book or start one, you could start using your fireplace to keep the home warm if you have one or you can get out a flashlight or candles and a card or board game for some traditional fun with your family. If it goes on for several days, try to be asleep when it is dark and awake when it is day so you can make use of natural light and conserve batteries.
I hope these ideas are helpful and that you will be more prepared because of it.
This is a partially contributed post.
Subscribe so you never miss a post.
If you find my tips useful, feel free to support my work. Thank you in advance!
Be sure to check out our Etsy shop, NeededInTheHome.
Looking for deals? Read posts about Shopping Deals.
Subscribe to our Hot Shopping Deals emails so you never miss a deal!
Want to remember this? Pin it to your favorite Pinterest Board!
Please share this post.
Join the newsletter
Subscribe to receive our latest articles and promotional content by email from NeededInTheHome