Severe thunderstorms can cause devastation to homes and communities with floods, property damage, and power outages. Some communities might be more susceptible to storms where their power might go out a little easier than others. Here are some ways to prepare before a power outage and what to do when it happens.
How To Strategize Before A Power Disruption
Create A Plan
One of the best ways to ready yourself and your home for a power outage is to have a plan in place. An emergency plan can help save lives and educate your family on what to do when the time comes. A power outage can last several hours or days, so equipping for the unexpected will aid you in the long run.
The plan should include what room to stay in and place emergency kits there, how to decide when it’s time to leave the home and a list of emergency contacts. When creating a plan for a power outage, develop checklists for emergency kit items and tasks that need to be completed. Signing up for alert systems and weather apps that notify you of upcoming severe weather or down power lines will be highly beneficial and better prepare you for emergencies.
Stock Up Supplies
As mentioned above, a checklist can help prevent any last-minute panic. Items to stock up on should include:
- First aid kit
- Non-perishable food & water for 2 weeks
- Can opener, paper towels, plates, cups, silverware
- Basic toiletries
- Flashlights (1 for every family member)
- Blankets, pillow, sleeping bags, & change of clothes
- Baby supplies (diapers, wipes, food)
- Pet supplies (food, pee pads, toys)
- Game, books, & toys
- Radio, Batteries, & portable chargers
- Garbage bags & plastic bags
- Wet wipes
- Important documents (passport, birth certificate, insurance policies)
- Feminine supplies & personal hygiene
- Wallet, cash, car & house keys
Add any other items you deem necessary for a power outage. Once all of your items are gathered, opt to store them in a waterproof container and keep that container in your designated emergency room. Be sure to replace any food and medications regularly before their expiration date.
Prepare Yourself & Your Home
If you require medical devices that rely on electricity, talk to your doctor about a plan for power outages. Your doctor should be able to recommend an alternate or remedy and what will work best for your situation. If you also take daily medications, add that to your supply list.
You can equip your home for severe weather conditions by installing emergency lighting around the house, checking smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detector batteries, sealing windows for insulation, and purchasing a generator. For generators, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
If you know ahead of time that there’s going to be a power outage or a severe storm, there are some ways you can immediately prepare:
- Keep your car gas tank full
- Calculate your medical needs
- Fill your bathtub and spare containers with water (use water in your bathtub for flushing the toilet and sanitary purposes)
- Set fridge and freezer to coldest setting
What To Do During A Blackout
Once you’ve prepared for the power outage, it’s time to implement your emergency plan. As soon as the power goes out, you should monitor alerts via cell phone apps or radio and call the electricity service to notify them of the outage. Sometimes the power is only down for a few hours, but in the unfortunate event that it’s out for longer, you’ll need to be more composed. If the power is out for several hours, contact your emergency connections and check-in.
When the power goes out, and you or your family get hungry, eat fresh foods first. An unopened full fridge will keep foods cool for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for 48 hours, and a half-full freezer will last about 24 hours. Only open the fridge/freezer if it’s essential. The more times you open it, the more cool air goes out. If using candles, always keep them in safe places and away from anything flammable. The number one thing to do is stay calm.
Stay Safe With Cobia
The best way to stay safe is to prepare for anything. Having an emergency plan in place can make all the difference. Once power is restored after an extended power outage, assess the damage around the house and reset the breaker. Be careful plugging in heavy appliances. After noting the damage, call your Cobia Insurance representative to guide you through the claims process.
Another way of staying safe is having the right insurance policies. The right insurance policy will protect you and your home during a severe storm. Contact Cobia Insurance today to learn more about our insurance services.