Severe weather doesn’t take a season off. In fact, high winds, torrential rain, and lightning strikes can occur anytime of year and bring about a slew of problems, including car accidents, downed trees, and – most commonly – power outages.
Here are just some of the troubles that can occur during a power outage and how to safely cope with them.
No A/C or Fans – Anything requiring electricity stops working during a power outage, including your air conditioner and fans. As temps rise, this can cause dehydration and heat stroke. Encourage everyone to drink plenty of water, keep curtains and shades drawn to keep your house cool as best you can, and open doors and windows as the sun starts to set to allow breezes to flow through.
No Heat Source – During cold weather months, furnaces, boilers, and electric space heaters stop working, leaving you cold and putting your water pipes at risk of freezing. Keep warm by wearing layers of clothing and open faucets even a little to allow water to flow – as a rule, moving water can’t freeze. Never use kerosene heaters, camping stoves, or grills indoors as they can cause carbon monoxide to build to dangerous levels, thus placing your family at risk of poisoning.
Water Worries – If you have an electric water heater, you’ll have to go without hot water until the power returns. If you have well water, the pump may stop working, leaving you without fresh drinking water. Stock up on a large supply of bottled water before the storm, but don’t wait until the last minute as the only thing you’ll be likely to find are empty shelves.
Fresh Food – Avoid opening the fridge and freezer as much as possible during an outage. Most refrigerated food can stay fresh in a closed fridge for up to 24 hours, while frozen food can stay frozen for up to 36 hours. Carefully examine all food for spoilage before consuming – when in doubt, throw it out.
No Phones – Keep your cell phone charged before a power outage so you can keep track of the storm and make emergency calls as needed. Consider investing in a solar backup charger to relieve the worry of an extended outage.
TVs, Electronics, and Appliances – They are all sensitive to variations in voltage and can burn out when power is restored. Be sure to unplug all TVs, electronics, and appliances during an outage and plug them back in one at a time once power is restored.
The heating and cooling professionals at Nero also advise you to cut the power off to your furnace and central AC systems as soon as power is lost. If not, they too can be severely damaged or even destroyed by a power surge.
Or, you can take the worry out of all that and contact us about installing a whole-house generator. They’re powered by natural gas or propane, which means every home can have one. Plus, they can provide power for your entire home throughout the outage. Contact us today to learn more and for a free in-home power consultation.