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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Preparing for a Home's Power Outage

With the freak blizzards, and the Spring storms, let's prepare for a power outage in our homes:
  1. Gather emergency supplies like food, can openers, water, candles, matches, flashlights, batteries, and radio.
  2. Know where your fuse box and/or circuit breaker is.
  3. Learn how to reset a circuit, and how to change a blown fuse.
  4. Find out NOW how to override an electric garage door. If there isn’t a way, figure out what to do to get your car in or out of the garage.
  5. If you think a power outage is about to occur, turn your refrigerator and freezers to the coldest settings. This will help keep food cold longer. Be sure to not only the fridge/freezer doors except when you absolutely have to, and do it quickly – quick in and quick out.
  6. You should have most of your electrical equipment and all of your entertainment and computer equipment hooked up to surge protectors. This will prevent a sudden surge of electricity from hurting or frying them.
  7. Keep extra blankets and old cardboard boxes (with an x-acto knife) and duct tape to cover windows in case the heat does go out. This will prevent drafts.
  8. Figure out which of your home’s rooms are the most insulated. Inner room, or the family room with the fireplace. Make that where you spend most of your time during the power outage.
  9. Once the power does go out, turn the thermostat pretty low, and turn off the circuit breaker for the water heater to reduce the demand for energy once the power is restored. An overload could send it back to an outage. However, leave one light on, or a radio, so you’ll know when the power has been restored.
  10. If the outside temperature is expected to stay below 35 degrees, place items from your fridge (milk, cheese, etc.) in a cooler on your back porch to keep things cold.
  11. Cover the freezers and refrigerator with blankets to insulate them.
  12. If you small gas, do NOT use matches or flip switches (including flashlights). Call the gas company, and turn off your utilities manually.

Did I leave anything out?