Every winter, somewhere in the Northeast, the power goes out as big storms move through. The causes can vary, from strong winds blowing down trees onto power lines, to ice storms that weigh down the lines and break them. Regardless of the reason, homeowners need to always be vigilant and ready for the worst that Nature can deliver — including a power outage.
Read on for a list of things you should do, at a minimum, to be ready for the next one.
1. Enough food for your family to last 72 hours or longer. Choose non-perishable food that is not complicated to prepare.
2. Drinking water.
3. Battery-powered lanterns and flashlights, and plenty of batteries. Avoid candles.
4. Battery-powered emergency radio to listen for weather news and emergency procedures that may be put in place.
5. Blankets, sleeping bags, extra clothing for dressing in layers.
6. Essential medications and first aid kit.
7. A means of heating or cooking. You can use a propane, gas or charcoal outdoor grill, but be sure to have a good supply of charcoal or propane on hand. In a pinch, you can also cook in a fire pit or camp stove. Do not use any of these combustion-powered appliances indoors, for fear of carbon monoxide poisoning.
8. A supply of wood or wood pellets, if you have a fireplace or wood stove.
9. Cell phone. Don’t expect land lines to work during power outages.
10. An ice chest and ice to keep extra food cold.
11. Generator. Portable or backup generators are available, but consider the purchase of a generator carefully. Backup generators must be wired into your home’s electricity supply by a professional electrician. Also, no type of generator can be used indoors or in a garage (fumes may travel into the home).
1. Keep the refrigerator doors closed to keep food cold as long as possible.
2. Turn off the HVAC system and unplug major appliances to avoid power surges when the power comes back on.
For more information on a power outage, contact Elite Air of Hamilton.