Power outages can be stressful and dangerous. Thankfully, this problem is nothing new, so there are plenty of clever tips to help you get through a power outage at home. Backup generators are a common suggestion, but they’re far from being the only emergency support available.
From outfitting your home with extra equipment to being mindful of your freezer usage, homeowners can optimize their homes for power outages. If you want to be ready when the power goes out, read the list below and take each tip into careful consideration.
Don’t Open the Refrigerator or Freezer
A power outage can last an afternoon or several days, so food prep is critical for when the latter happens. As a result, one of the biggest concerns during power outages is the freezer and refrigerator losing energy, rendering your food useless over time.
That said, these appliances are more resilient during power outages than you might expect. If you refrain from opening the refrigerator door after losing electricity, the fridge will keep food cool for about 4 hours. Plus, a half-full freezer can remain cold for around 24 hours. You might expect a full freezer to lose optimal temperature quicker, but that’s not actually the case.
A full freezer can keep food at optimal temperatures for around 48 hours. So, during electrical emergencies, only use the fridge and freezer when completely necessary. Furthermore, check the temperature of food from the refrigerator or freezer before consuming it because anything above 40 degrees Fahrenheit is a health hazard.
Even if you must tape a sign to the freezer saying, “Do Not Open,” then do so. After all, when power outages happen, being forward-thinking is key.
Unplug Your Electronics
When electronics receive a sudden spike of electricity, this can cause significant damage. This situation is known as a “power surge” and can occur during power outages. To prevent surges from damaging your electronics, unplug them all when the electricity goes out.
If you already have surge protectors on certain appliances and devices, you can worry less about unexpected damage. However, unplug any TV, lamp, or phone charger that doesn’t have a surge protector guarding it carefully.
Curb Your Carbon Monoxide Exposure
When people try to make assumptions about power outage solutions, they risk exposing themselves to hazards like carbon monoxide. Unfortunately, exposure to this gas is severe and frequently results in illness or death.
Furthermore, this odorless, colorless gas can enter your home in unexpected ways. For instance, heating your home with a gas stove might seem like a clever idea, but it’s not; doing so can expose you to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
Likewise, never bring a backup power generator indoors because, again, it sounds smart but puts your health at risk. For this reason, make sure your carbon monoxide detectors at home have backup batteries ready to go during power outages.
Consider Solar Battery Storage
Solar panels provide homeowners with an energy-efficient way to power their property. That said, power outages can still hinder the panels on your home. Don’t worry; homeowners with solar panels can invest in solar battery storage.
Thanks to solar battery units, your home will retain power during nighttime, cloudy days, and (you guessed it) electrical grid problems. When you need a quick, reliable, and eco-friendly solution to energy loss, use a quality solar battery storage unit. To find the right battery, speak with your solar panel manufacturer.
For instance, beyond being solar panel system installers, our team provides homeowners with excellent solar battery systems, such as the Tesla Powerwall. If you outfit your home’s solar power system with a backup battery from industry leaders, you’ll have one less thing to worry about during outages.
Prepare Your Medical Devices
Losing the ability to light your home is frustrating during power outages, but there are more dire concerns. For instance, if you rely on medical devices throughout the day, you don’t want a power outage to render that equipment unusable.
Many types of medical devices exist, so be sure you know how to prepare yourself for an outage. So, where do you start with your plan?
Luckily, the answer is simple: Speak with the device manufacturer. As soon as you can, reach out to your medical device manufacturer and inquire about power outage plans for your specific unit. That way, you can plan ahead and ensure your device remains functional during emergencies.
Stock Food & Water
The idea of having a stockpile of food and water for emergencies might seem over the top to some. However, the timetable for any power outage isn’t always easy to track, so you should be ready for long-term energy loss.
Even without power, you still need to eat food and drink water to stay healthy. So, to effectively prepare for emergencies, pick up some extra water bottles next time you’re at the store. Beyond water bottles, stock up on peanut butter, granola, nuts, canned fruit, and other non-perishable items.
In doing so, you can ensure you and anyone else you live with can still maintain healthy energy levels—even when the home itself can’t.
Be Smart About Phone Usage
As mentioned earlier, you never know right away how long a power outage will last. For this reason, one of the cleverest tips to help you get through a power outage is to be mindful of your phone usage.
When you have no electricity, meaning no access to TV or video games, it’s understandable to turn to your phone for entertainment while you wait out the outage. On the other hand, for extreme situations involving power loss, such as storms, phones will provide a way to access news or call emergency services.
Suffice it to say, you can use phones for many things during power outages. So avoid unnecessarily using it too often. Instead, ration your phone usage to only picking it up when you need it.
Like keeping the freezer and refrigerator closed, refraining from unnecessary phone use ensures you’re ready if the situation turns for the worse. Although the power issues might clear up quickly, having a long-term plan in mind is always welcome.