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How To Prepare for a Power Outage

Let’s face it: Whether you’re prepared or not, a power outage can be a real nuisance. But just because the power is out doesn’t mean you have to stop living comfortably or having fun. Here’s how to prepare for a power outage (and stay organized and informed while you’re at it).

Keep Supplies Handy
Have an emergency preparedness kit that is full of essential medicines, batteries, cash, critical phone numbers, and first-aid supplies. Make sure you have enough nonperishable food items and water to last you and your family through a blackout. Having these items ready and accessible at a moment’s notice can help alleviate stress during a power outage.

Keep Things Charged
Your cellphone, laptop, medical devices, and any other gadgets and appliances that require power to work should always be charged, just in case. (You wouldn’t want the power to go off with your phone battery being lower than 10%!) This is when battery-powered alternative charging methods will come in handy (and it’s easy to stock up online for cheap).

Keep Things Cold
You want to be able to keep your food cold during a power outage, and because your fridge won’t be working you need a back-up plan that goes beyond just keeping the refrigerator door closed. Empty the fridge and freezer and store your food in coolers with lots of ice or water-filled plastic containers. Having a digital quick-response thermometer on hand will allow you to check the internal temperature of foods so you know what is safe to eat when the power comes back.

Keep Your Tank Full
Gas stations rely on electricity, which means that if your area is without power you could find yourself unable to fill up. Make sure that your tank is always on the fuller side so that you won’t ever find yourself stranded. Filling extra containers with gas is another smart way to plan ahead in case of an emergency, and having a supply of gas at home can ensure you’re prepared for a power outage.

Keep Listening to The Radio
Listening to NOAA radio stations will keep you abreast of updates and emergency plans in your area. You can find a NOAA station online or you can download an app for your smartphone, but the best way to make sure you’re able to connect to the station is to purchase a battery-operated radio ahead of time and store it in your home with your emergency supplies in case the power suddenly shuts off.

Keep Alternative Light Sources Around the House
Think ahead and be ready for a power outage by having alternative light sources in different parts of the house. Flashlights, candles, and battery-powered lights and lamps will be life savers when you’re caught in the dark. A generator is also a great purchase that can be critical in a blackout (especially those that last a while).

Keep Things Fun
The power could be out for a short period of time or it could take days for your lights to come back on. You can always pass the time with books and board games, so take advantage of the opportunity to unplug and have fun with your family.