No one ever expects the power to go out, but it happens. Even with modern electrical and power grids, a failure can send you back into the stone age. Therefore to cope up with such situations, people should know how to live without electricity. Here’s what to do before, during and after, to protect yourself.
There are lots of things you can do to prepare for an emergency.
First, you should spend some time building an emergency supply kit, which includes a non-battery-operated flashlight (Faraday flashlight), batteries, cash, and first aid supplies. You should also have alternative charging methods for things like phones and tablet computers. Charge your cell phones every night, and have auxiliary or backup batteries for when the power goes out unexpectedly.
Know where your manual release lever is for the electric garage door opener.
Buy ice and water-filled plastic containers, and store them in the freezer (water goes in the basement, in a protected area. If you use your car to re-charge devices, don’t keep the garage door closed when you have it on.
Always keep a full tank of gas in the vehicle — gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps, which will be inoperable during a power outage.
Check with your insurance company about what is covered in the event something gets damaged, like electronics, if there’s a power surge, or if a pipe breaks during the outage.
Only use flashlights for emergency lighting, but do use Faraday flashlights (since they do not run on battery power). Use candles only in open areas and only around non-flammable items. Keep your refrigerator and freezer door closed. Most food will stay cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours. Stay cool if it’s hot outside. An intense heat can be brutal. Consider going to a movie theatre or a shopping mall, or any other “cooling shelter.”
Wear light-colored clothing. Drink lots of water, even if you’re not thirsty. If it’s cold outside, dress in layers. If the power is out for a long time, plan on moving to another locations that has heat to keep you warm.
Disconnect appliances, or turn them off. If the power comes back on suddenly, it may cause a power surge that can damage them.
Contact Ckflaw.com if you think your insurer is refusing to pay any insurance claims it’s legally required to.
Throw away food that’s been exposed to a temperature of 40 degrees F for more than 2 hours or that smells funny, has a weird color, or texture.
If you’re in doubt about its safety, throw it out.
Call your doctor if you’re not sure about any medications in the fridge. Do not take them if you’re unsure about their efficacy or safety. You can always reorder them. But, expired medications may not work, or may produce unintended or unexpected effects.
Nicole Bird has become an expert at surviving power outages after Winter storms wreaked havoc in her area last year. She shares her tips and advice online for others to learn from.