Power outages can happen anywhere, any time. Of course the weather plays a big part in many electrical outages but actually there are multiple reasons for the disruption and they never happen with notice or at a good time.
My family and I were spending a beautiful sunny weekend on Put In Bay in an Airbnb. The sun was shining and we couldn’t have asked for better weather. Or so we thought. The first night we were there, the winds began whipping off the lake, sounding like the century old trees would come crashing down when suddenly, the power went out. We were left in an unfamiliar environment. Seven adults and three children and we had no idea where to find a flashlight, matches or even candles. We were literally lost in the dark.
This experience led me to become more diligent about being prepared. There is no exact predictability of when or where an outage will occur but there are steps we can take to be ready. After my personal experience and researching Ready.gov, I compiled the following 10 steps to help you prepare.
- Have flashlights with working batteries, handy for each person in your home.
- Refrain from opening the refrigerator or freezer.
- Have a list of important phone numbers including friends and family. If your phone dies and you use someone else’s phone, they may not have the information you need.
- Keep your kitchen stocked with drinking water and a manual can opener.
- Have an alternative power source such as a portable charger.
- Prepare for any medical needs that require electricity.
- Do not use your stove or oven to heat your home.
- Use proper ventilation for any alternative heating sources.
- Contact your electric company.
- If you have a well, you will not be able to access your water. Have water on hand to flush the toilet and wash with.
Power outages can be challenging and dangerous, especially during extreme temperatures. But with a little prep, and a good attitude it can be a fun time to create some new memories with the family. Charades, making tents, telling stories, all require nothing but the imagination. Just remember to make a plan so you will not be left in the dark.