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Coping With Power Outages

peregrinus By peregrinus on
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Do you know what to do when a disaster hits your area? Maybe it's a flood, power outage, hurricane, or earthquake.

This is the first in a series of disaster preparedness articles. Today's topic: POWER OUTAGES.

Power outages are probably the most common problem out there. I don't know a single person who has never had to deal with a long power outage. Food spoils, lines of communication go out, furnaces and air conditioners shut off.

Make sure you have a few items ready somewhere in your house. Come summer, when everyone turns on their air conditioners to ward off the evil summer heat, chances are high you will experience some form of power loss.

It is a good idea to have the following items located somewhere easy to find in the darkness: tealight candles (which sell in bags of 200 for under $10), a flashlight (LED is best), battery or hand-powered radio (to listen for emergency alerts), 72 hours of non-perishable food (dry or canned goods), water (at least 2 litres of water per person per day, plus extra for cooking), and some good warm blankets (especially important in winter).

When the power shuts off, start controlling the amount of times you open the fridge and freezer. The more frequently you access it, the less time your food will stay cool. If the outage is expected to last a while (something to listen for on the radio), consider moving some of the items into a basement or cold room. Even in the summertime, the basement is the coolest place in your house (cold air settles, hot air rises), more so in unfinished basements.

Take the time to sit and plan with your family. Know your area's contingency plans for emergencies. If you can't find the information, ask at a fire hall or police station. They can best direct you on specific concerns regarding your area. Much better than any article can.

Are you prepared?