Prolonged Power Outage Tips

Late summer often brings severe weather to many parts of the country, particularly coastal regions that may see tropical storms or hurricanes. Among the many threats that accompany these storms is the possibility of a prolonged power outage. To make sure your household is prepared, consider these tips and plan ahead while the skies are clear.

Assemble a Kit

  • Keep a few flashlights in an accessible place, and make sure they work. Flashlights are preferable to candles, which can pose a fire hazard.
  • Get a battery-operated radio, preferably one with alternative energy sources such as a solar panel, a hand-crank generator, or both.
  • Stock plenty of batteries for these and all battery-operated devices you plan to use during a power outage.
  • Gather bottled drinking water and non-perishable, ready-to-eat food to last a few days.

Consider a Generator

  • Call a certified electrical professional for help selecting the right generator for your home.
  • Have the experts set up and demonstrate the generator if you decide to purchase one.
  • Never operate a generator inside your home, garage or basement.
  • If you choose a portable generator, don't connect it to your home electrical system.
  • Instead, connect it directly to the devices and appliances you want to power or charge.

When the Power Goes Out

  • Turn off any electrical equipment that was in use at the time of the power failure, but leave one light switched on so that you'll know as soon as power is restored.
  • Contact your electrical utility to inform them of the outage. Save the proper number in your cell phone ahead of time.
  • Listen to the local radio for updated information on weather conditions and power restoration.
  • Indoor temperatures can soar during prolonged summertime power outages. This can be uncomfortable for anyone, but it can be dangerous for infants, toddlers, the elderly and those with certain medical conditions. Families with at-risk members should know of multiple climate controlled safe spaces where they can wait for power restoration.

If you have more questions about managing power outages, or if you'd like to learn about generator options, contact a qualified electrician near you.

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