Blackouts are an unfortunate reality during winter months. They can be caused by extreme weather, like snow and ice storms, as well as overloaded power grids. It’s important to prepare for a winter blackout to help keep yourself and your family safe and comfortable. Here are some blackout prevention tips.
Have an Emergency Plan and Kit in Place
Ensure you have a battery-operated radio, flashlight, extra batteries, and an emergency plan. Have a list of important numbers, such as your local power company, hospitals, fire department, and police station. Assemble a basic emergency kit with non-perishable food items, warm clothing, blankets, and first aid supplies.
You should also ensure a backup plan for essential medical equipment, such as oxygen tanks. Have the phone numbers of your local electricity provider handy in case you need to report an outage.
Stock Up on Supplies
Make sure you have plenty of food and water stored. Freeze extra water in ice cube trays and store them in containers or plastic bags in the freezer. The best way to keep your food safe is to keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
Be sure to fill up your gas tank and have enough fuel for generators. Have extra cash on hand if you need to purchase items during a blackout.
Inspect Your Home
Inspect your home for potential dangers from a blackout. Make sure smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries. Have flashlights and candles in easy-to-reach places. Make sure flammable items are away from any open flames or heaters.
Check your windows and doors for drafts and ensure they are properly insulated. Install window treatments such as blinds or curtains to further help with insulation.
Protect Your Home
Check your sump pump and any other equipment that requires electricity. Have an alternative light source, such as lanterns or flashlights. Cover windows with blankets or other materials to keep drafts out and conserve heat. Make sure you have extra blankets, hats, gloves, and warm clothing if the power is out for an extended period.
If you are using a generator, follow all safety precautions. Never operate the generator inside your home or in an enclosed area because they produce carbon monoxide, which is toxic and can be deadly.
Stay Connected and Informed
You can use a mobile phone, laptop, or tablet to stay informed about the power outage. Keep your devices charged and consider investing in a solar charger. Listen to the local radio for updates on when power will be restored.
If possible, stay with a family member or friend who has electricity. This will make it easier for you to stay connected and access necessities such as food and hot water.
Following these tips can help ensure that you are prepared for a winter blackout. Taking the time to prepare now will save you a lot of stress and trouble if the power goes out in your area. You can also reach out to an electrical contractor to ensure your home is prepared for a blackout. They can inspect your wiring and provide helpful tips on protecting yourself and your home. If you’re in Boise, ID or the surrounding area, contact us at Sublime Electric for all your electrical service needs!