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Preparing for power outages during storm season

by Jillian CariolaPublished: September 27, 2013Updated: July 17, 2014

Don’t be caught off-guard when a blackout happens during a storm. Here are some guidelines that will get you ready for a sudden power outage.

During the rainy season, you can’t get through a month without experiencing a few storms, some of which are strong enough to damage or take down power lines. If you weren’t prepared for the last power outage in your area, there was no doubt a lot of wall-groping, toe-stubbing and complaints of hunger.

Don’t wait for the next blackout to feel around for candles and flashlights; here are some tips to get your home ready before the power goes out during the storm:

1.       Always keep a supply of candles and matches in a closet or drawer, and make sure everyone in the family (except the little kids) knows where they are so getting to them won’t take too long.

2.       If you’d rather not have candles, see to it that you have more than a couple of flashlights around; this way, people won’t be plunged into darkness every time someone has to go to the bathroom. Battery-operated or rechargeable lamps are good items to keep close by, too.

3.       Keep a box of fresh batteries so you won’t have to resort to stealing them from gadgets and toys when the flashlights lose power.

4.       Get a power bank. It might not have enough power to charge all your gadgets, but at least you'll have something you can use to revive your phone, which at this point is your most essential device anyway.

5.       If you use an electric stove, keep your cupboard stocked with non-perishable food like canned goods, which only need a can opener for preparing.

6.       If a power outage goes on long enough, food in your refrigerator will go bad, so freeze fill plastic containers with water and freeze them. You can use these to pack food with to keep them cool for as long as possible.

7.       Moving around in the dark almost always leads to someone getting hurt, so put together a first-aid kit that contains necessities like band aids, antiseptics and prescription drugs (if necessary).

8.       Keep a battery-powered AM/FM radio close by so when a storm happens and the power goes out, you have a way of listening to hourly bulletins about the storm, road conditions and whether you need to evacuate your area.

9.       During particularly strong rainshowers (especially ones that send your lights a-flickering), plug in your gadgets for charging. You never know when the power will go out.

10.     Make sure you have some cash and change hidden somewhere in the house for emergencies. If your entire area’s power is out, there's a good chance the ATMs won’t be working, either.

Remember to apply these tips as soon as you hear news that a storm’s brewing nearby. Keeping your emergency supplies at arm’s reach will make sure that you don’t have to hurt yourself getting to them in the dark.


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