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How to Prepare for a Power Outage

By Mary Ripley on  December 19, 2016

When the power goes out is not the time to start worrying about how to deal with a power outage. There are important steps and preparations that need to be completed before the threat of losing power is imminent. Losing electricity can be dangerous, especially in cold months. Even though your furnace may be gas-powered, chances are it won't be functional in a power outage because modern furnaces are designed to not operate without electricity since the safety fail-safes they're equipped with aren't functional without power. For your family's safety, check out the list below and make sure you're prepared should the power go out in your home. Preparedness means safety and during a power outage, safety is priority.

Power outage supplies - radio, batteries, gas can, water

  • At least one flashlight per household member, with backup batteries.
  • A complete Emergency Kit. Check often to make sure supplies are replenished and nothing is out of date.
  • Alternate charger for phones. Many households don't have landlines anymore and if a cell phone is your only means of calling someone should you need help, make sure you have a fully juiced power pack to charge any cell phones. (Check out the power bank charger that is available in the myNOPEC Rewards Store.)
  • If you have a generator, do frequent checks throughout the year to ensure it's in working order.
  • Fill up any gas tanks you have. Gas stations are not operational without electricity, so make sure you have extra gas on hand to get anywhere you need to.
  • Self-powered radio to keep updated on weather and safety reports.

Family of 3 keeping warm in a power outage

  • Warm clothes and blankets. When temperatures outside are frigid and your furnace isn't working, it's surprising how quickly your home will get cold. Obviously, minimize opening doors to keep in the warmth. The more warm blankets and clothing you have access to, the better you'll fare in a winter power outage.
  • Put some frozen water bottles in your freezer. Use them for extra insulation to keep your foods cold longer, and if they do melt, you always have extra water for drinking. In the meantime, keep your freezer and refrigerator doors closed as much as possible to keep the cold air inside.
  • Battery backup for your sump pump. Once the electricity goes out, your sump pump will too. If there is a lot of rain or melting snow, this can be a big problem. Backups that work on a battery are available for sump pumps so if your electricity goes out, you can minimize the potential of a flooded basement too.
  • Know where your garage door manual release is. When you can't open your garage, you can't drive your car.
  • Leave one light on so you know when power is restored. And in turn, make sure you turn off or unplug major electrical items to avoid a power surge when electricity is restored. Power surges can potentially blow fuses or damage electrical devices.

Hopefully you won't be stuck without power any time soon.  But in case you are, follow these tips so you are prepared. We'd love to hear from you.  Do you have any additional tips to get through a power outage?  Let us know in the comments.

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