Getting Through a Blackout
A power outage is more than a minor inconvenience, and as we move into winter we should be as alert as possible as to the possibility of power outages happening across your area. Power outages happen for a multitude of reasons, and when you’re a kid, blackouts are exciting. They are in adventure, and watching your parents flap around trying to figure out what to do can often feel like part of the fun. However when you grow up you realize that power outages are dangerous. So getting through a blackout can be hard. Blackouts can cause anxiety, nightmares and it can force you to consider things like how long your food will stay fresh for.
Given that we are in a cost of living crisis, the last thing that you or anybody needs right now is to worry about whether their food is going to stay fresh. The chances are good that you will have to deal with at least one extended blackout through this winter, but with the right preparation it doesn’t have to be a scary or anxiety inducing time. Having a whole house battery or generator on hand can help you to keep your home as powered as possible as you can while the grid is down, and while the average blackout lasts a few hours natural disasters can make blackouts happen for an awful lot longer. If you live in an area where you are expected to be plunged into freezing temperatures this winter, then being prepared now is better than regretting it later. The National Grid is pretty delicate, so you need to make sure that you are prepared for a lengthy power loss and not just an upset breaker.
You likely already know the basics: having flashlights, batteries, candles, matches. These are things that most people have naturally on hand in their pantries anyway. If you don’t, the time is now to start getting stocked up. You need to be truly prepared to live without grid power for a while, and for that to happen you need to make sure that you are investing in things like power banks for your phones or a portable generator. Having a whole house surge protector installation done is a good way to prevent things from shutting down quickly, but you need more than that. Let’s take a look at some of the items that you can make sure that you have so that you are ready and prepared for any kind of level of blackout.
A battery or generator
Earlier on we mentioned the whole house battery or generator, and there is a reason for that. It’s going to be massively useful if a disaster strikes this winter, because you will be able to access your power no matter what. If you are running medical equipment or you have to use power to keep oxygen flowing or food from spoiling, a whole house battery or generator is going to help. The traditional Breakers are generators that can be bulky, and it can be hard to start.
But when a blackout happens you need to have something more robust than just a starter cord that’s going to sputter out when you pull on it. Generators can also only be safely run outside which means you might be dragging it out into the rain or snow and bringing ext cords into the house. A whole house battery, generator or solution is expensive, but it’s super worth it. Emergency generators that run off natural propane can be installed outside and they will kick in automatically if the grid goes off. Hospitals often use these so that there is no interruption in saving people’s lives if the power goes out.
Water powered pumps
Because a blackout can happen at any time, you need to make sure that you are not going to be stuck dealing with a basement full of floodwater. Most of the time a blackout will happen during a large weather event, and if there is a storm happening and your basement is suffering as a result, you’re going to have to deal with the fallout of that flood water rising. It’s not just about the damage it will do to your flooring, walls and carpets, but the damage that it could do to your health. Having utility pumps Anna backup power source on hand will help. A water powered pump is going to help you too use water pressure as a power source. For every gallon of water they used to run, they pumped out two gallons. As long as there is water pressure, the water will be pumped out of your home and you won’t have to panic.
A generator for your car
If you are willing to invest in a generator for your business or for your house, then you need to get one for your car as well. An emergency backup generator with a car generator is going to help you to transform your car. It can then help you to transform it into a backup generator for your home. This is a good solution if you can’t afford a whole home solution for your generation right now, and the portable batteries can be charged via solar panel or a wall outlet. They then stand ready to provide plenty of power to charge phones and devices and power lamps and they can do that for days. The best part is that they can be operated indoors, and you don’t have to worry about fumes or fire.
A power bank. You would have a power bank for your phone, but you can also have one for your house. Generators can be expensive and bulky, and they can be difficult to use. If you do have one you might want to consider using it for the larger appliances or the infrastructure of your home. Power banks and portable batteries can be charged via solar panel and can provide plenty of power to charge phones and devices in an emergency.
The reason that power outages are called blackouts is because they tend to happen mostly in the evenings when everybody is at home and all the power is being used, but things do tend to get dark. And outages a reminder of how reliant we are on electricity for our modern lives, and as a loss of power can transform your home into a maze, you’ll be amazed to discover all of the walls and the corners that magically appear when you’re fumbling around trying to remember where you stowed everything. If you have emergency lights, these can come on in the event of an outage, and installing some bulbs with built-in battery backups is going to make a big difference. When the main power goes out these lights stay on for a few hours, and that gives you time to get organized and get the kids squared away into safety if necessary. It also gives you time to pack an emergency bag because you’ll be able to see what you’re doing.
Get a portable heater
During winter snowstorms when blackouts occur, not only are you trapped in the dark, but you have to deal with the house that is getting very cold very quickly. If you are repairing a generator outside, much of the heat that you have trapped in your home is going to escape out of the open door. With a few portable propane heaters and propane tanks on hand, you can keep your house warm until your furnace can fire up again. Propane heaters can be used indoors very safely, you just need to make sure that you are following instructions in terms of venting. This often means ensuring that you are cracking a window at the top and you can hit the small space very effectively when you do it.
Don’t open the freezer
When you are preparing for a blackout, you have to make sure that you understand how to keep your food as fresh as possible. By keeping the freezer cold and closed, you’re going to keep the food in there for hopefully as long as it takes to fix the power outage. It can actually keep it cold and frozen for a couple of days as long as you don’t touch the door and you don’t check the freezer. Just leave the door closed and let the cold air trapped inside do its job. If necessary, add some tape to it so nobody feels tempted to open it.
Don’t take any chances
The last thing that you need to remember in a blackout is not to go outside if you have been told to stay put. It is not worth your life or the lives of others if you are on the road and driving when there are no street lights on, no traffic signals, and no way of seeing who’s coming and who’s going. Instead, you need to ensure that you are not putting yourself or anybody else at risk and stay put. This is going to be better for everybody and not just you.
We hope you had some ideas when you are in a blackout.