candlelight during a power outage

Power outages are common whenever a large storm or accident rolls by. But are you sure that you’re properly equipped to handle the next one? We’ve put together some great ways you can lessen the effects of the next power outage.

What to Prepare Before a Power Outage

Preparation is better than remedy and it can’t be truer for when a power outage decides to turn off all your appliances. These are some of the things you can do to prepare for an unexpected power outage.

Have an Emergency Kit Ready

An emergency kit is an important tool for any dire situation. You’re going to need to fill this with all the necessary tools and provisions to last for the entire duration of the outage. Some of the things you’re going to need in your emergency kit include:

  • Flashlights and Extra Batteries. Having a light source during a power outage is important if you still need to move around in the darkness of night or have to take something from your basement or dark cabinets. A great alternative is a friction flashlight that doesn’t need batteries to function.
  • A first aid kit. This kit should have bandages, rubbing alcohol and illness-specific medicine like insulin or anti-allergy pills.
  • Emergency lights. These might seem redundant when you have flashlights but a large emergency light lets you keep an area illuminated for long periods without having to hold a handheld flashlight
  • Canned and Preserved food. Canned food has an extremely long shelf life and can easily sit in an emergency kit for three to six years when kept properly

Knowledge is Power 

Knowing exactly what to do during an outage is just as important as having an emergency kit. Teach your kids as soon as possible and they’ll easily get through their first power outage. Teach them what to do, where to go and to stay calm. Also, let them know where the emergency supplies are. Another thing to take note of is the special needs of certain family members. Know what to do for them if in case the power is out. 

Always know the numbers you need to call in case of an emergency. Have the fire department, 911 and other emergency services’ numbers on your phone. Better yet, put them on speed dial so you can contact them quickly in case of an emergency. 

Ready Your Electrical System 

Preparing your electrical system will help it recover after an outage and make sure that when the power comes back on, nothing goes wrong. There have been many cases where a home’s electrical system was overloaded due to a faulty circuit breaker. This caused unnecessary fires and damage to property. The best way to deal with this is to ensure that you conduct regular inspections. Another great option is for you to upgrade your current electrical system. GCFI outlets and circuit breakers are a great help when handling power surges. They make sure that your power system stays intact and undamaged when the power does come back on.