OSEA Safety News

Power Outage Preparedness & Tips

Monday, April 8th, 2019

Power outages are nothing to joke about and, unfortunately, they can happen in any type of weather. There are multiple reason’s why the power goes out and there are many ways to be prepared.

How can you prepare for a power outage? By keeping these basic items on hand!:

  • Radio that operates by batteries so that you can stay informed about the weather updates and any emergency broadcasts.
  • Flashlight with extra batteries so that you have a light while walking through your home and don’t trip over any items in your home. Make sure you know where the extra batteries are in case your flashlight does out.
  • First Aid Kit – have one on hand in case you happen to trip over something or cut yourself in the dark. You should remember to keep this kit restocked at all times; not just during a power outage.
  • A Carbon Monoxide Detector is something mostly no one thinks is important during an outage, but it is. An outage can increase the risk of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. In addition, make sure your Carbon Monoxide detector is battery operated otherwise it is useless to you during a power outage.
  • Phone Lines/Cellphones – house phones are rapidly becoming an item of the past. If you have a cordless, the receivers are not going to work with the power outage so make sure that you have a phone that doesn’t have any batteries. Cellphones are a wonder for todays day and age but if you don’t have power you don’t have Wi-Fi, and could maybe even lose service. If you hear that a storm is on its way and there could be a power outage, put your cellphone on the charger immediately and let it charge fully. Once it is charged use it sparingly until the threat of the storm/power outage it over. This way you can keep in contact with family members or make an emergency call if needed. You may also want to sign up for emergency service text alerts/messages. This way you can be kept in the loop if a severe storm is hitting your area. You can go to your local Electrical Company’s website and sign up for these alerts on the homepage.
  • Portable Cellphone Chargers- You can find many different brands of these chargers on Amazon or in your local Walmart or Target. There are ones that run by charging or just by batteries. For this situation, it would be wise to get some that you can just change the batteries, so you don’t get stuck with a bunch of half charged batteries.
  • Emergency Numbers – have a listing of all your household service providers, especially your power company. If a power outage were to hit the area you live in you can call the electric company and report the outage. The Electrical Company doesn’t always know when outages happen unless they are reported.
  • Generator – if you have a generator you should be checking it once a week to make sure it is in working condition. This way, once an outage hits, you are ready to go. Please make sure you have purchased one that is big enough to take care of the items that need to operate off of it. Make sure a certified electrician has installed it, and that it does work properly.
  • Car’s gas tank – make sure that your tank is full in case you need to go somewhere other than your home during the storm.
  • Activities and distractions – a good source of entertainment to have when there is no power (cards, board game, books)
  • Food Storage – be sure to keep canned goods that don’t need to be cooked on the stove handy and have a tab on the top of the can to open them. If not, you should have a hand can opener (like when you go camping) to open the canned foods.
  • Winter Power Outage – make sure you are dressed appropriately, dress in layers. Loose fitting, light weight clothes, don’t forget the hat, gloves and scarf. Be sure to watch for frost bite. This happens when you start to lose feeling and white or pale appearance in the extremities such as fingers, toes, ears or nose. If this happens head directly to the Emergency Room. Check with local agencies for warming stations if it gets too cold or the electricity doesn’t return quickly.
  • Summer Power Outage – can be very different than a winter outage, during a winter outage you put additional items of clothing on to stay warm. During Summer Outage you can only take off so much clothing. Remember to keep water & juices in your home during the summer to stay hydrated. Along with all the other items mentioned. You may want to stay in the know about who is open for cooling stations and if you can stay with a family member unaffected by the outage.
  • Young, Old & Sickly Individuals – please be sure to check on your family members and neighbors during these events. NO one is immune to the weather and what can happen. If you see someone in distress call you local police station or 911

The power can go out in all types of weather from heat to cold. A power outage can be caused from a bad windstorm, snow storm, rain, heavy winds, some hitting a pole in your area or a transformer blowing.

Sources:

https://www.ideahacks.com/

https://www.wikihow.com/

https://emergency.tufts.edu/

https://www.backdoorsurvival.com/

https://www.sparkenergy.com/

https://www.theorganicprepper.com/

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