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When the Power Goes Out, Power Outages and Being Prepared

Updated on April 4, 2012

What to Do When the Power Goes Out

Do You Know What to Do?

By: Cow Flipper

Power Outages:

We will all experience a power outage in our lifetime. It is an unfortunate reality of our modern world. Being that electricity is the life blood of modern day society, when the power goes out much of our conveniences are put on hold. We take for granted that we have artificial light, that our food is refrigerated, our hospitals run on electricity that keeps people alive. When the power goes out these days it can be a major concern.

When the Lights Go Out:

  1. Check the neighbors homes and streetlights outside your home. If your place is the only place that seems dark then it is a good idea to check if it is an overloaded circuit in your home. Turn off your appliances, computers, televisions, and electronics before resetting your circuit breakers.
  2. If the power is out disconnect your appliances to reduce the demand and to limit any damage caused by low voltage when the power comes back on.
  3. Report the outage to your power company.
  4. If your neighbors power comes back on but yours has not call the power company and let them know.
  5. If when the power is back on your lights are dim or unusually bright turn off the power at the breaker or fuse box and call the power company. This could be an indicator that there is a problem at your home or with the power company.
  6. If you leave your house turn off all electrical appliances and devices like computers and televisions.
  7. All electronic devices should be on their own surge protector.
  8. Keep all your windows and doors closed and locked. This will help to retain the heat or cool air in your home.
  9. Keep your refrigerator closed, frozen food can stay good for up to two days if kept in a closed freezer.

Survival Gear

Being Prepared

Knowing what to do when even in a temporary outage can help keep you and your family safe.

Short Duration Outage:
  • Have a power outage kit for short duration outages. Have flashlights, batteries, glow sticks for kids, have candles and oil lamps, and a battery powered radio.
  • Have snacks like cheese and crackers and bottled water.
  • Have books and boardgames for kids.
  • Have your local power company outage phone number posted in a visible place in your home.
  • If you have an electric garage door make sure you can open it manually.
  • Have a land line or a hand crank recharger for your cell phone.
  • Have alternative heating sources.
  • You may consider purchasing a small generator.

Long Duration Outage:

  • Have a weeks worth of food and water on hand for each person in your home.
  • Have enough medications to last you through the event.
  • Keep a storage of extra fuel for your generator.
  • Have a box of batteries stored.
  • Have an emergency survival kit and medical kit for your family.
  • Sleep in shifts, watch for intruders that may take advantage of the fact that there is a power outage.
  • Have a call list to let others know you are okay.

Would You Be Ready?

Are you prepared for a blackout?

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In Conclusion

The best thing to do is be ready for when the power is out. You should have enough supplies to last you till the power comes back on. Never panic if it takes them time to get it back on, medical problems should be top priority if you have need of electrical assistance. Get a generator if this is the case. Learn how to properly use a generator safely to power your home. Have plenty of batteries on hand. Cook the food in your fridge first if it is going to spoil. Stay together and you can sweat out the power outage and treat the entire incident as you would a camp out. Thanks for reading.


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    • Thundermama profile image

      Catherine Taylor 5 years ago from Canada

      This is a fantastic hub. I try to be prepared, but had totally forgotten about the electric garage door opener in the event of a power outage. Thank you! Voted up and useful and am now following.