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Preparing for power outages during storm season (INFOGRAPHIC) | MyProperty.ph
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Preparing for power outages during storm season (INFOGRAPHIC)

by Jillian CariolaPublished: September 27, 2013Updated: June 30, 2017

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.

 

Typhoon season power outage preparation MyProperty Philippines blackout readiness preparedness

During the rainy season, you cannot get through a month without experiencing a few storms, some of which are strong enough to damage or take down power lines. One particularly massive case of power outage was during Typhoon Glenda, which took down power lines all over Luzon and Visayas back in 2014, affecting over 13.5 million people.

According to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), blackouts during typhoons can be caused by something as small as a tree branch falling on power lines or as massive as a collapsed tower. In some instances, outages can be as short as a few hours, but in particularly dire circumstances, they can last much longer. In Tacloban, for example, efforts are ongoing to repair power lines damaged by 2013’s Super Typhoon Yolanda. Either way, as there is no telling how long a blackout will last, it is essential to be prepared.

If you were caught off-guard by the last power outage in your area, there was no doubt a lot of wall-groping, toe-stubbing and complaints of hunger. Why 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 a storm.

Typhoon season power outage preparation MyProperty Philippines blackout readiness preparedness infographic

  • Consider getting a generator, especially if you have a family member who requires the use of electric medical equipment or if you are running a business from home.
  • When the power suddenly comes back on and your appliances and electronics are still plugged in, they can be damaged by the power surge, so think about investing in a surge protector.
  • If you normally use a cordless landline phone, get a unit with a cord as well. This will ensure that you can make and receive calls during an outage even when the cordless runs out of power.
  • Get a power bank. It might not have enough power to charge all your gadgets, but at least you will have something you can use to revive your mobile phone, which at this point is your most essential device anyway.
  • As tempting as it is to leave your doors and windows open to let cool air in during a power outage, it also makes you vulnerable to intruders. Install screen doors and windows that you can keep securely locked as you leave the main ones open.
  • Always keep a supply of candles and matches in an emergency closet or drawer, and make sure everyone in the family (except the little kids) knows where they are so getting to them will not take too long.
  • If you would rather not have candles, see to it that you have more than a couple of flashlights around. This way, people will not be plunged into darkness every time someone takes the light to the bathroom. Battery-operated or rechargeable lamps are good items to keep close by as well.
  • Keep a box of fresh batteries in the emergency storage so you will not have to resort to stealing them from gadgets and toys when the flashlights lose power.
  • During a typhoon, plug in your phone, laptop, tablet, and other electronic gadgets for charging. If you notice your lights flickering, it is a good indicator that the power will go out soon.
  • This should go without saying and should be done at all times, but keep doorways and corridors clear of obstacles like furniture, boxes, and toys to lessen your chances of getting hurt as you move in the dark from one area of your home to another.
  • An electric stove is useless in a power outage, so keep your cupboard stocked with non-perishable food like canned goods, which only need a can opener or the built-in pop tab for preparing.
  • If you use a gas-powered stove, make sure it has sufficient gas to last you at least three days. If you are running low, consider getting a back-up so you can replace your current one if it runs out during a power outage. You never know if your provider will run low on supplies during the storm.
  • If a power outage goes on long enough, food in your refrigerator will go bad, which would be a waste. Freeze water-filled plastic containers which you can use to pack food with to keep them cool for as long as possible.
  • Put together a first-aid kit that contains necessities like adhesive bandages (Band-Aids), antiseptics, and gauze, as well as over-the-counter meds like analgesics (pain relievers) and antipyretics (fever reducers).
  • If you have family members with particular needs such as maintenance or allergy medication or blood pressure monitors, ask them to keep these items close by at all times.
  • 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.
  • Write down emergency numbers like the police and fire stations, ambulance service, and the hospital and put the list somewhere visible. Less than urgent but just as essential are restaurant delivery numbers, which will come in handy in case you run out of food or gas at home.
  • Make sure you have some cash and change hidden somewhere in the house for emergencies. If your entire area’s power is out, there is a good chance that ATMs will not be working either, and shops will not be able to process credit card purchases.
  • Keep your vehicle’s gas tank full. Gas station pumps are powered by electricity, so in case of large-scale areas, you might have a hard time finding an operational station.
  • Without TV or computer, power outages tend to be boring especially for kids. Pull out board games, playing cards, and other fun activities for everyone to pass the time with.

 

Sources: inquirer.net, rappler.com, sunstar.com.ph, cnet.com

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