In addition to some very fun holidays and beautiful changes in the landscape, fall also can bring severe storms with heavy rain and high winds. These fall storms often include power outages, which can be disruptive and scary.
When the power goes out in your home during a storm, the first thing to do is to stay calm. Then, call the toll-free number for the power company and listen for the pre-recorded message telling you what has happened and how long the power is expected to be out. Next, follow these tips:
- If the power is going to be out for more than three hours, the food in your refrigerator will need to be discarded and replaced. This is a good time to start eating what is in there so that as little is waste as possible.
- Make sure that you have plenty of flashlights so that you and your family can find your way around the home in the dark.
- The water in the hot water tank will stay hot for a few hours, this is a good time to take a bath or a shower before the hot water cools off. However, if there is a lightning storm outside, avoid being in the water.
- Unplug your television, audio equipment, computer, and any other small appliances while the power is out. When the power comes back on, there could be a surge that causes serious damage to your electronics.
- Do not bring your barbeque grill, outdoor heater, or any other item that is meant to be used outdoors – inside. These can cause dangerous health situations when used indoors due to a build-up of toxic gasses.
- If the power is going to be out for several hours and you are worried about staying warm, choose a bedroom in the home for everyone to move into. Use towels under the doors to seal off the cold air and, if the room has hardwood flooring, lay down blankets or rugs to insulate.
The power company works hard to make sure that power outages are as brief as possible. However, it is not always in their control and sometimes power outages last for quite some time. Make sure that you and your family are protected by following these tips.