It’s all social media and video games until the power goes out.
A too-casual approach to hurricane prep is a common but unfortunate human trait. Overcoming our lazy monkey brains to prepare our homes and families is half the battle, but the solution lies in keeping it simple.
So read on to find your simple yet essential list of power outage preparation tips for the hurricane season.
Switch It Off
Turning off and disconnecting devices ahead of a hurricane can be a chore, but you may be glad you did.
Lightning strikes can cause serious damage to your electronics in a storm and your surge protectors won’t do much against a direct hit. Disconnection is the only way to ensure your electronics won’t get zapped.
Make a patrol of your house to disconnect any items you don’t want to lose. You should also disconnect devices to ensure they’re not a shock risk if your home is damaged—to you or anyone who needs access to your home.
Finally, a surge caused by the restoration of power can damage items even after the worst is over. Keep your appliances powered down until everything’s back online and restore them one at a time.
Kit and Caboodle
Kits and Go Bags are the perfect way to prepare for any emergency, equipping you with everything you need to hand in one convenient package. Keep these things in mind when prepping your kit:
- Choose the right items
- Keep the kit somewhere obvious and easy to access
- Inspect pre-existing kits before you need to use them
Common emergency kit contents include food rations, first aid items, clothing, and utility items like flashlights. You should keep all this in a weatherproof, sealable bag or container.
For a more detailed list of what your kit should include, check here.
As any disappointed kid at Christmas will tell you, batteries are easy to overlook when you’re busy making other preparations. Yet they’re one of the most essential things to own in a power outage.
Ensure you keep a good stock of reliable batteries and be sure to check which batteries you need for each device you plan to use. It’s wise to keep at least some batteries in your emergency kit, too.
If you have batteries left over from a previous season, check them before you need them. They may have run out of juice or even degraded from lack of use, which can damage your devices.
Of course, this assumes you have battery devices on standby, which you should. A battery-powered radio or cooking appliance can really save your bacon when the power goes out. Literally.
It’s not too surprising that the best way to deal with a power outage is to turn the power back on. That’s no contradiction, thanks to portable generators.
With a back-up source of power, you might not need to rely on the rest of this list (though you should prep it anyway). If the power goes out, you can switch over to your portable generator to at least get the essentials working again.
Owning a portable generator isn’t enough, though. You can learn more here about why and how you should get used to your portable generator before disaster hits.
Food, Glorious Food
Nothing shows how fundamental electricity has become to our lives than trying to cook without it.
The solution is, once again, to think ahead. Buy produce that will last in a pantry—no refrigerated goods here. Cans are usually a good investment, but you’ll want a mechanical can-opener handy, too. Plan ahead to create a set of meals with balanced nutrition.
Your refrigerator will keep its cool for a while even unpowered, so long as you don’t open the door too often. You should stay away from eating meat stored in an unpowered refrigerator, but the residual cold should keep vegetables and other goods fresh for a while.
Cooking without power can be the real challenge, so you may want to stock up on foods you can eat without preparation. You can also buy battery- or solar-powered cooking devices if you don’t have access to back-up power.
Potable water might also be a concern in a hurricane, so stock up ahead of time on bottled water. Don’t rely on local water sources like wells, as these can become contaminated by floodwaters.
Morale might not seem a big concern when you have a hurricane heading your way, but you’ll thank yourself later for thinking about entertainment before the power goes out.
When you’re huddled together in the dark with no distractions, time stretches toward eternity. Think of fun things you can do with your family, like games you can play by dim light.
If you have kids, it’s even more vital to think ahead. Kids need reassuring distractions in times of stress, and even a simple game could keep emotions in check.
Most of all: stay safe. Many people lose their lives in hurricane season because they take unnecessary risks.
Remain indoors if safe to do so, and keep your family together. This goes double if you have kids, pets, or vulnerable adults in your household — you’ll want to know where they are at all times.
Remember that the streets will be more dangerous than you’re used to. Downed power lines, floodwaters, and unstable buildings are among the many dangers you might encounter.
Unless you’re in immediate danger, you should stay put where possible and rely on your preparations to last you until the power comes back. Take care even in the first few days after normality resumes, however. Damaged infrastructure or household goods can still present risks, so make a thorough survey of your home to deal with potential hazards.
Power Outage Preparation Done Right
Keeping things simple is the way to make it through an emergency. By following this simple checklist, you’ll know how to execute your power outage preparation with confidence.
If you found this guide helpful, make sure to check the rest of our site for more handy info.