Electricity runs a higher percentage of our lives than we can possibly imagine– everything from digital devices to garage doors. We can never be too prepared for a power outage. Here’s the rundown, what to do before, during, and after a power outage:
Before a power outage:
- Keep your gas tank full, or have an extra tank of gasoline on hand, as gas stations rely on electricity to run their pumps.
- Charge all cell phones. We recommend keeping a portable charger ready and available. If you need to charge your car through your automobile, make sure to always leave the garage door or windows open while the car is running, to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Have a disaster preparedness kit ready. This should include water (1 gallon per person) and non-perishable food.
- With the fridge and freezer out of commission, have ice packs and cold-containing containers on hand to transfer food into during a temporary power outage.
- If you rely on an electrically or battery powered medical device, have a back-up plan. For battery powered wheelchairs, stock extra batteries.
- Your community has pre-established emergency plans and safety procedures– learn about yours at your state and/or local website.
During a power outage:
- If in a cold climate, put on layers to stay warm. Never use charcoal stoves or your oven for heating purposes. If the power outage is for an extended period of time, plan to go to stay with friends or family.
- In a hot climate, wear light layers and stay hydrated. Stay in the lower levels of your home, and make excursions to air conditioned places, such as malls, movie theaters, or community-provided “cool shelters”.
- Despite the nice ambience provided by candles, always use flashlights in a power outage to avoid fires.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for up to 4 hours, while the freezer will keep food frozen for 48 hours.
After a power outage:
- Throw out all food that has been exposed to temperatures below 40 degrees fahrenheit for 2 hours or more, or has a strange odor, texture, or taste.
- Check with your doctor if you are not sure if medication has spoiled.
- Restock your emergency kit and battery supply.
Now that you’re prepared in case of power outage, check in with your insurance agent about your homeowners policy coverage during a power outage. Call BMR Insurance with any questions at (714) 838-1911, and we’ll help you prepare!