If there were a power outage in your area for more than one day, would you be prepared for it? Sudden and unexpected power outages can be frustrating and potentially dangerous, which makes preparation crucial.
When a short-term power outage (2-3 hours) occurs, minimal preparation is needed. This involves keeping the refrigerator closed as much as possible, having fully powered flashlights or candles ready to use, and keeping your family comfortable. When a substantial power outage occurs, there are easy and simple steps you can take to keep your family as safe and comfortable as possible.
- Fill the bath tub with water. When the power goes out, your city water supply or well pump may soon follow suit. When this happens, running water will no longer flow into your home. Filling your bathtub and buckets with water before a severe storm hits your area will provide your family with clean water to drink or use for bathing.
- Conserve batteries by using candles. While battery-powered light sources produce more light, candles can be a useful alternative to help preserve batteries in case of a prolonged power outage. When using battery-powered light sources, use LED flashlights and lanterns as LED lights last six to 10 times longer than incandescent lights. Safety note: please use caution when using several candles in a small space by only using enough to see, placing them on sturdy surfaces, and keeping them out of reach of children.
- Invest in an outdoor cooking grill. Whether it’s propane or charcoal, having an outdoor cooking grill on hand will make life easier during a power outage, especially if your kitchen isn’t equipped with a gas stove. For propane grills, ensure the tank is always filled or have a spare ready to go.
- Stock freezer with bags of frozen water. Purchase gallon-sized plastic sealable bags, fill several full of water, and store in your freezer. If the power goes out, these frozen bags of water will help to keep the freezer cold longer and also can be used as a source of drinking water when melted.
- Unplug appliances to protect from power surges. The most likely time for a power surge happens when the power is coming back on after an outage. Power surges can destroy sensitive electronics such as TVs, radios, computers, and other electrical appliances. To prevent damage, unplug all non-essential appliances and wait to plug them back in until power has been fully restored.
- Stock up on gasoline. Because power outages can be sudden and unpredictable, it’s essential to keep your vehicles filled with gasoline or, at the very least, have gas cans filled and stored in a safe place. This is crucial if you’re using a generator to power your home or need to use your vehicle in case of emergency. Check out our UGI family member, Denny’s Electric Service for more information on purchasing a generator.
- Have a cash stash. When the power goes out, so do ATMs, banks, and the ability to pay electronically. In the case of an emergency, have cash on hand stored somewhere safe in your home.
- Stock up on non-perishable foods & water. Stocking up on canned foods, dried foods, and cases of bottled water is an essential part of any survival kit. With serious events like power outages and severe storms, these are the items that go out of stock in stores quickly. Keep your family safe by stocking your basement or garage with these items.
- Don’t use a gas stove or generator Inside your home. If a power outage occurs during the winter, never use a gas stove or generator inside your home to stay warm. This can be potentially life threatening by causing carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Check on older or disabled neighbors. If you have elderly or disabled neighbors close to your home, be a good neighbor and check in on them or invite them to your home to keep them safe.
As our dependency on electricity grows, the need for a power outage preparedness plan is vital. For more information on how to prepare for power outages, how to report power outages, and general emergency information, visit our Emergency Tips section on our website or call us today at 1-800-427-8545.