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Tips on Weathering a Power Outage

Here comes another storm and…another power outage.  You don’t have a generator, you have a freezer full of meat and the power company can’t give you an estimate on when the power will be restored.  What else can you do except hunker down and wait it out.

The power outage and subsequent time frame for restoration are not in your control.  However, minimizing your frustration and expenses during an outage is.  Following are some tips to help you weather that power outage with as little anxiety as possible.

Since winter is coming, we will focus this post on winter storm power outages.

Tip #1 Make sure all doors and windows are properly caulked and weather proofed ahead of winter so precious heat doesn’t escape during an outage.

Tip #2 Keep a stock pile of wood if you have a fireplace or wood burning stove so you can keep at least one room in the house livable in case of an outage. Keep matches and lighter in a place you can remember so you don’t have to go hunting for them.

Tip #3 Have candles, flashlights and extra batteries available in addition to an emergency hand crank or solar powered radio that does not need electricity or batteries to operate. Attach a strip of glow-in-the-dark tape to flashlights to make them easier to find in the dark.  Keep a flash light in your night stand or by your bed in case the power goes out in the middle of the night.

Tip #4 If it’s cold enough outside, you can fill clean plastic milk jugs with water and put them outside to freeze solid. These frozen jugs of water can be used in your refrigerator and freezer to keep perishables cold.

Tip #5 Keep a list of pet friendly hotels and/or kennels for your pets in case you need to vacate your property.  Never leave pets at home alone during power outages, they are susceptible to extreme temperatures just like you are.

Tip #6 Keep extra cell phone battery packs charged and ready with a charging cable nearby so you have something to power your cell phone with when you need it. Turn off the WiFi setting on your phone to conserve your battery and don’t do any unnecessarily surfing of the internet.  Dimming the brightness of your phone and putting it on power saver mode will also conserve your battery life.

Tip #7 Keep all major electronics plugged into good quality surge protectors in case of power surges.  It’s also a good idea to just unplug some of those expensive electronics during a power outage.  Power surges can wipe out TVs, computers, refrigerators and other major appliances.

Tip #8 Keep a manual can opener on hand since an electric one won’t work in case of a power outage.  This way you can still open cans of food.  If you have a grill outside, you can still cook your food.

These are just a few handy tips to help keep you sane during times of power outages.  As always, if you find that your home suffered any electrical issues during an outage, call Peter Needham right away.  Peter is a Master Electrician and can solve any electrical issue you may have!

781.396.4800

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