A power outage is whenever the electrical power in your home shuts off suddenly. An outage may occur across a neighborhood, town, or even a whole state.
Several establishments may close, such as retail businesses, gas stations, and grocery stores. Utility services, ATMs, and banks may be out of commission, too.
Power outages could disrupt transportation and communications. In a more dangerous scenario, medical devices may not work. There is also the risk of contaminated water and food spoiling.
Here, we outline how to prepare for Richmond emergency power outages. Keep reading to learn about emergency kits, backup power generators, and other tips.
Preparation for an Emergency Power Outage: Before, During, & After
It’s critical to be prepared for an emergency outage before it occurs, during the outage, and after experts restore the electricity.
There are numerous factors to consider before you face an emergency power outage.
Common backup lighting includes candles, battery-powered flashlights, and portable LED camping lanterns.
The benefit of candles is their ability to light up a room, but it’s harder to walk around your house with a candle in hand. As such, battery-powered flashlights are much more mobile. Be sure to keep extra batteries on hand to make sure you have consistent light.
If your power lines are down, you can use a backup portable generator to power your home. However, you should only use them outdoors and away from windows. Be sure to place them 20 or more feet away from windows.
A backup generator is the best way to prepare for an extended outage. It will keep your refrigerator working to save your food from rotting and keep your electric heat on.
You will also want to have a power bank present in your home. Power banks charge a wide range of devices, from GPS systems to cell phones.
You will also need to keep new batteries around the house for powering radios, battery-operated televisions, and flashlights.
Carbon Monoxide/Smoke Detectors
Having working carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors during an emergency is essential. These safety measures matter even more during power outages when other vital household functions no longer work. Be sure to have backup batteries to keep these smoke and CO2 detectors working.
Amid power outages, you’ll need to store enough nonperishable food and water. With a backup generator, your refrigerator can also keep your food cold. Make sure to keep your freezer doors closed tightly in case you lack a backup generator. Food stays colder in an unopened refrigerator.
A gas stove is also best in case of an emergency power outage since it means you could still cook a meal.
Have an Emergency Kit Ready
The type of supplies that you’ll need in an emergency kit include:
- One gallon of water per person per day
- Three-day supply of nonperishable food
- Manual can openers
- Flashlights and extra batteries
Do you have medical appliances or devices? Talk to your healthcare provider about a power outage plan for your electrically-powered medical devices. Ask about what to do with any refrigerated medicines as well.
There are several important things for people to remember in case of an emergency power outage outlined below.
Emergency Power Outage Reminders
The key things to remember during an outage include:
- Don’t panic, and be sure to report the power outage
- Ask your local officials about cooling and heating areas near you
- Don’t try to use a gas stove or oven to heat your house
- Find other ways to use power-dependent medical devices or refrigerate your medication
- Don’t forget to include some entertainment on hand for mental well-being
- Close the doors of refrigerators and freezers tightly
- Unplug appliances and electric devices to prevent electrical surge problems
- Keep your generator outdoors and far away from windows
After your utilities start working again, there are key things to do afterward.
Take a look at all the food in your fridge and throw out the items that have gone bad. If your milk turns sour and any foods have green or white spots, you should throw them out. Normally, refrigerated, perishable food stays safely cold in the fridge for four hours. It lasts in the freezer for approximately 48 hours.
Keep your refrigerator doors closed to keep the interior cold.
You will also want to find out from your physician how long medications can be stored at higher temperatures. Any refrigerated medications exposed to high temperatures for too long are not safe for use.
An automatic standby generator is beneficial in a power outage. It will heat your home, make cooking possible in case you have an electric stove, and keep your food refrigerated.
Our certified electricians install a variety of first-rate generator models that provide all the power you need during a power outage in Richmond. With our generators, you will always be blackout-ready. Call us today to get started!