With winter upon us, power outages can become more than a mere inconvenience. Depending upon where you live, a power outage in the winter can make your home feel like a freezer. Ff the outage drags on for hours or days, the situation could actually turn into a safety issue. Water pipes can freeze, food and medication can spoil, and downed power lines can create life or death safety hazards on the roads.
Then, of course, there are those minor inconveniences that can make a power outage a hassle, from lack of Internet service, to sitting in the dark without television, radio, computers, other devices, etc.
Despite the major & minor problems that are unique to a power outage, there are some steps that you can follow. You can take those steps before, during, and after you lose power to keep you and your family safe.
Be prepared: Power outage safety tips BEFORE an emergency hits
Of course, you would not want to find yourself in a power outage without the proper planning and taking the necessary precautions. The following supply list will keep your home well lit and warm, in the event that you can’t get to an alternate location (or if it’s a short-term outage):
- Candles and matches (or lighters)
- Portable device chargers
- Warm blankets
- Non-perishable food
- Bottled water
It is a good idea to keep these supplies in an easily accessible location. Also, when deciding where to store everything, remember that it may be completely dark as you attempt to grab those flashlights, batteries, etc. One option is to store some of the items near a window. In the event that you lose power during the day, you will have natural light to help you see.
A good habit to get into is to keep your devices fully charged at all times. This way, if you lose power you will still have access to your cellphone’s flashlight function. And you will be able to call friends and family if needed.
What to do DURING and AFTER the emergency: Power outage safety tips
According to ready.gov, there are several actions you can take to stay safe and warm when the power goes out, including the following:
Keep the refrigerator and freezer closed.
Your food will stay cold and/or frozen for up to 4 hours (for a refrigerator) and 24-48 hours (for a freezer, depending upon how full it is), if you keep the doors to these appliances closed. However, if the outage lasts longer than that, you may need to throw out spoiled food – unless you can put the food in coolers on ice until power is restored.
Depending upon where you live, one creative way to keep food cold in the winter is to put it in the snow outside your home. If you have enough snow accumulation, this natural freezer may work perfectly until your fridge and freezer are up and running again.
Go to another location that has power, if possible.
For example, if the power on your block is out but your sister (who lives a mile down the road) is fine, visit with her during the outage so you can stay warm and safe until your own home is powered up again.
Use generators safely
If you have a generator and need to use it, be sure to use it outside only – and away from windows (where the fumes may enter your home).
Assess the Damage After the Power is restored
After the outage, assess the freshness of food and medication – and throw away anything that has spoiled. If there are any downed wires nearby, make sure the area is clear before walking or driving around outside your home.
Power outage safety: What NOT to do
Do not use a generator or grill inside your house, and don’t run a gas stove to keep your home warm, either. These makeshift “solutions” can create dangerous situations that put you at risk for an explosion and/or being overcome by gas fumes. Also, do not keep food or medication if it has not been properly refrigerated or frozen.
The Best Power Outage Safety Tip: Carry Silent Beacon Personal Protection Device with you
The Silent Beacon personal safety device is the best power outage safety item that you can purchase. This small, portable device allows you to call for help with the push of a button. Simply input your list of contacts – including emergency personnel – and pair the Beacon with the free app. Then, if you need help during a power outage, press the panic button to push out customized alerts to your contact list via text message, a phone call, and/or email.
Once your contacts receive the alert, they can easily find you, thanks to the Beacon’s GPS technology. And if you want to verbally communicate with your primary contact, you can enable the two-way communication feature. In this way, You can talk with him or her as you wait for help to arrive.
Best of all, the Silent Beacon never has any recurring, startup, or cancellation charges or fees. Just determine your preferences, input your contacts, pair with the app, and you’re ready! Never again be caught unprepared during a power outage. Between the Silent Beacon and these power outage safety tips, you’ll be ready for anything.
To learn more, or to purchase your Silent Beacon personal safety device today, visit https://business.silentbeacon.com/.