A power outage that leaves you without lights, hot water and heat can compromise your comfort and safety if you're not prepared. There's no way to predict how long an outage might last, but planning ahead and having a three-day supply of necessities on hand can make it easier to cope.
You can start preparing by taking these steps:
- Put aside a gallon of drinking water per day for each member of the family.
- Keep a few bags of ice in the freezer and purchase a couple of disposable coolers so you have a way to keep perishable food cold without opening the fridge repeatedly.
- Stock up on packaged or canned foods that can be eaten cold or require minimal cooking.
- Keep extra fuel on hand if you have a portable stove or gas grill to use when the power goes out, but plan to cook outside so there's no risk of carbon monoxide exposure.
- Prepare an emergency supply box and put it somewhere easily accessible. Stock it with a flashlight, candles, a lighter or matches, various size batteries, a battery-powered radio and an extra cell phone car charger. Don't forget hygiene and first aid supplies and necessary prescription medications.
- Gather sleeping bags and a few warm quilts, or purchase several "space blankets" and add them to your emergency kit.
- Put small amount of cash aside in case you need supplies and can't use a credit or debit card.
- If you have an alternate heat source like a fireplace or portable heater, have a supply of wood or fuel stored close by.
- Make sure you can open your garage door manually, and always keep a half tank of gas in your vehicle.
When a storm is predicted, fill your sinks and bathtubs with water for flushing. Shut down your HVAC equipment at the circuit breaker, and unplug electronics, computers and appliances to prevent damage from a power surge when the lights come back on.
To learn more ways to prepare for a power outage, contact the Fort Wayne area home comfort pros at Hartman Brothers Heating & Air Conditioning.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in New Haven, Indiana and surrounding Fort Wayne area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about preparing for a power outage and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 260-376-2961.
Credit/Copyright Attribution: “iQoncept/Shutterstock”