Getting Through a Power Outage with a Generator
One of the easiest ways of getting through a power outage is to use a generator until service is restored. You can purchase a portable generator to operate essentials like the refrigerator, a window air conditioner or space heater, and a few lamps. Make sure you have plenty of fuel available and store the fuel away from the generator. Follow all recommendations for safe generator use.
Of course, portable generators must be refueled periodically. They are also too small to operate central heat and air, and they can’t be used for hardwired lights or heavy appliances like the stove. For this kind of power, you’ll need a standby generator permanently wired to your home.
Rescue Perishable Foods
Refrigerators will only maintain a safe temperature for about four hours during an outage, so take steps immediately to protect your refrigerated foods. Place them in coolers filled with ice, or take them to a friend’s house, your workplace, or another location where you can borrow refrigerator space. If none of these are options, don’t open the fridge more often than necessary. If the power is out for more than four hours, you’ll need to throw away any perishable foods.
Frozen foods have more time. Freezers typically maintain their temperature for about 24 hours. Every time you open the door, you’re reducing the amount of time your food will be safe to eat. Unless you’re taking food out to use or store elsewhere, leave the appliances closed.
Planning for Meal Preparation
One thing we miss during a power outage is the convenience of cooking at home. When you can’t use appliances, options become limited. The cold cuts will run out as the refrigerator’s safe time expires. Getting through a power outage without spending a fortune on take-out is possible when you plan ahead.
Make sure you have gas or charcoal available. You’d be surprised what you can cook on a grill with a little creativity. Have a good stockpile of canned foods as well as staples like flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. If your household relies on water from a cistern or well, keep an alternate supply on hand because the power outage will affect your pump.
Lighting is Helpful for Getting Through a Power Outage
The first sign of a power failure is usually that the lights go off. This is less of a problem during the day since you can navigate the house safely. You may even have enough light from a window to read or tackle other tasks.
However, if the outage hits during the night, your usual routine can be difficult or even dangerous. That’s why it’s key to make a plan for lighting. Make sure you have plenty of candles, battery-operated lanterns, or flashlights for each family member. Whatever you choose, keep extra supplies on hand for lighting – fuel for lanterns, matches for candles, and batteries for flashlights.
Getting through a power outage is easier when you’ve prepared for it. Get everything together ahead of time so that you can live safely and comfortably until power is restored.