Power outages are frustrating and troublesome, especially when they are unexpected or last for an extended period of time. As we enter the fall and winter season when powerful storms and wintery weather can cause blackouts and brownouts we can turn, luckily, to The Family Handyman who can help eliminate stress and keep families safe with eight tips for homeowners on how to be prepared when the power goes out.
1. Water solutions: Filling the bathtub is a simple way to store water before an anticipated outage occurs.
2. Lower the temp: If you think a blackout may be imminent, set your freezer to its lowest temperature to keep food frozen for longer.
3. Pack those perishables: If you have a cooler on hand, be sure to pack eggs, dairy products, meat, fish and other perishable items surrounded by ice.
4. Keep it cold: If you lose power unexpectedly, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed. An unopened refrigerator will stay cold for a few hours, which may be enough to get you through the blackout.
5. Unplug: To protect computers, TVs, appliances and other electric-powered devices, be sure to unplug them before a storm hits.
6. Turn it off: Be sure to turn off any electrical equipment you were using when the power went out to prevent possible damage when the electricity comes back on. It is a good idea to leave on one light so you know when your electricity is restored.
7. Be a picky eater: Discard any perishable food that is kept at above 40 degrees for more than two hours. Also, if your food thaws in the refrigerator or freezer, remember to not refreeze it.
8. Back-up generator: Generators are helpful if you experience frequent power outages, but be sure to connect appliances directly to the outlets on the generator. Make sure to never operate a portable generator indoors – it emits carbon monoxide, which is fatal if inhaled.
Additional DIY tips, product recommendations and more can be found online at www.familyhandyman.com.
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