Most of the time when we think of power outages, we think winter, but then again, that’s probably due to the fact that the winter ice storm of 1998 is still with us—most of us in Maine were without power for 14 days! But power loss can happen at any time of the year, without warning. It’s important to always be prepared.
10 Power Outage Tips
Here are some tips that may help you prepare and survive during electrical outages during the warmer months:
- Think ahead. Make ice, lots of it. Fill up empty soda bottles with water and freeze them and leave them in your freezer. These will come in handy in both a cooler or the refrigerator, like an old time icebox.
- Stay informed — know your electrical company’s phone number to report outages and listen for updates. Having a battery operated radio helps too.
- Use a cooler for essential foods. This way you can keep the refrigerator closed and keep the foods that you absolutely need to access cool and safe.
- If you have an electric garage door opener, be sure you know how to disconnect it so you can leave your home.
- It’s always a good idea to have extra batteries, some drinking water, and a good first aid kit on hand, no matter what or when you lose power.
- Think camping — and either get a camp stove (always use it outside) or use the grill. If you have a lot in the freezer and it’s going to be a long time without power, you may just want to invite the neighbors over and grill up as much as possible before it goes bad.
- If you suspect you’ll lose power, be sure you keep your phone charged! Keep the power cord in while using it.
- If you know your water doesn’t work without electricity, it’s a good practice to fill your (clean) bathtub with water before every big storm. That way, you’ll have water for washing and other necessities available throughout any outages. If you need to flush the toilet, but the well isn’t working, just pour a pail of water (rainwater or water from the bathtub) into the bowl to make it flush.
- It’s also a good idea to unplug appliances, such as computers, microwaves, TVs, DVD players, stereos, etc., to protect them against potential power surges once the electricity returns.
- Bring your outdoor solar lights inside at night to give you extra lighting indoors. Charge them back up outside during the day.