Power outages often happen without warning, so it is important to prepare for a power outage before the lights go out. A power outage may occur at any time, leaving your home without essential functions. At a minimum, power outages make life temporarily more difficult. In the worst-case scenario, being without power can affect your safety. Keep yourself safe by learning how to prepare for a power outage so you have all the supplies you may need to keep your family comfortable until the lights come back on.

Why Should I Prepare For a Power Outage?

People who don’t prepare for power outages often find themselves in trouble. Stumbling around in the dark can lead to injuries, and improper use of candles is a fire hazard. Using gas stoves or lanterns indoors could lead to a dangerous build-up of carbon monoxide.

We often don’t realize how much we take electricity for granted until the power goes out. As soon as the power stops working, your fridge and freezer begin to warm up, potentially allowing food to spoil. Many stoves and ovens run by electricity and won’t work in a power outage.

Depending on the weather and climate, a power outage could make your house excessively hot or cold which poses hazards.

Some homes have water pumps that are powered by electricity, so you won’t be able to shower or even wash dishes. The water left in your toilet tank should be enough for a few flushes, but after that, you’ll need to top up the tank with water.

What Supplies Do I Need to Have?

If you already have an emergency survival kit, many of the same supplies will help you prepare for a power outage.

  • Be sure that you have sufficient clean, drinkable water. You need at least one gallon per person per day. Don’t forget to include extra water for pets!
  • Stock up on non-perishable food items that don’t need to be heated. Three or four days’ worth of food should be plenty.
  • Have plenty of solar or battery-powered lights so you can see in the dark. Make sure each occupant has their own flashlight and that you have spare batteries on hand.
  • If power outages are frequent in your area, consider investing in a backup generator. These devices can power a limited number of appliances for a limited amount of time. They run on gas instead of electricity, so part of preparing for a power outage is making sure you have spare fuel safely stored away.

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