Preparing for power outage is crucial if you live in cold areas, prone to power loss. Power outage, sometimes called blackout, is the sudden loss of electrical power. When there’s power outage for an extended period, the whole community and the economy at large suffers.
Possible consequences of power outage include:
- Disruption in the communications and transportation industries
- Closure of businesses that rely on electricity, e.g. gas stations, ATMs, banks, and grocery stores
- Food spoilage and contamination of water
- Poor medical services
Preparing for power outage at home/work- DURING;
- Do not open the refrigerators until the power comes back
- If you have a generator, ensure you use it outside and far from the windows
- Never use a gas stove to keep warm at home
- Disconnect electronic devices from the socket to prevent their damage from a power surge
- Have a back- up plan for refrigerating medicines and power-dependent devices
- During winter, find an alternative place where you can keep warm
- Check on your neighbours to confirm if they are okay
When preparing for power outage, the best way to go about it is to plan early enough for it. Here’s a list of things that you can do to keep safe before a power surge;
- Have a record of things you frequently use that rely on electric power
- If your medications are crucial to life, talk to your doctor concerning the most prolonged period, the drugs/ medical devices can stay away from refrigeration.
- Have back up in the form of batteries so that you don’t get bored for too long when there’s a blackout
- Register to receive local news, warning and potential dangers related to power outages. It may also be essential to pay attention to weather reports
- If possible, install mechanical carbon monoxide detectors or with battery backup in your home.
- Knowing whether it will be possible to use your home phone in case of a power outage and how long the battery is able to last.
- Have an up to date record of supplies that you can use in case there’s a power outage. Flashlights with some extra batteries will be essential during such times. Enough non-perishable food will equally be of importance
- Fully charge your mobile phones and other electric devices whenever you get the slightest chance. Your gas tank should similarly be full just in case.
In the case that you did not have enough time preparing for power outage, and you get caught DURING the power outage;
- Use coolers with ice to preserve perishable food. Feel free to check the temperatures using a thermometer.
- Buy/ order for food supplies that do not go bad easily
- Do not be tempted to use generators, stoves, or charcoal grills too close to the house. These can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Check on your vulnerable neighbours. Kids and the elderly are susceptible to extremely low temperatures.
- Move to a location with power if the cold is too much.
- Disconnect all electric appliances from the sockets to avoid the ‘surges’ and ‘spikes.’
AFTER a prolonged power loss, you may want to;
- Throw away food that may have gone bad during the power outage. When you get some bad smell coming from the food, it’s time to throw it away.
- Throw away any medication that stayed out of the refrigerator, for far too long than it should. In case you are not sure about what to do with the medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist for the best advice.