Lights Out! Summer Power Outage Survival Tips
After another wild string of storms hit the Hudson Valley again last night leaving a lot of people without power during a brutal summer heatwave.
Where I live in Wappingers Falls, last night's storm rolled through just before 9 pm and my lights flickered a few times and stayed on, so I thought I was in the clear, but I was wrong. At some point in the middle of the night, the power at my house went out; I found out when I awoke to my daughter standing over my bed informing me that the string lights in her room were out, meanwhile the bigger issue was that it was about 85* in my bedroom.
Anyway, the moral of the story is that I was not prepared for the power to be out at 1:30 am in the middle of a heatwave, so here are some pro-tips to avoid this situation in the future.
Speaking From Experience, Preparing For Power Outages
There's been a lot of chatter at work today about what people wished they would have done/wished they had before the power went out last night. Some things to consider in the event that you lose power:
- Have a charged up cell-phone charger/power supply to connect to your phone.
- If you have a home generator, make sure it is serviced and functioning properly.
- Along the same lines, have extra gasoline to fuel said generator.
- Keep a few bottles of water in the freezer during the summertime, they may come in handy if you're without power for a while.
- Flashlight batteries - there's nothing worse than trying to power up and the batteries are dead, or not even in the flashlight.
- Use flashlights rather than candles in the warmer weather...it makes a difference.
Now, these were just a few of the things we tossed around from our own personal experiences, let's let the pros chime in too.
Summer Storm Power Outage Survival
There are a number of checklists and guides for preparing for a power outage, a site called SafeElectricity.org provided a comprehensive list of tips for weathering prolonged power outages in the heat. Their list is definitely helpful and made me aware of things I hadn't thought of when it comes to a power outage. The full list can be found here, but some of the top tips are as follows:
- Consider buying battery-operated fans to have on hand to cool you and your house.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol, staying hydrated with water.
- Keep your refrigerator/freezer closed. A half full/full freezer can keep things frozen (if kept closed) for 24-48 hours. Perishable items in the fridge will stay for four hours, but if any longer, should be removed and backed in a cooler with ice.
- Fire up the BBQ! No electric inside doesn't mean you can't grill up some goodies outside!
- Keep curtains and shades closed to try and reduce heat from direct sunlight.
- Move the family/pets to the basement or the lowest level in the home to try and stay cool.
Do you have any other suggestions or recommendations from your experience of summertime survival during a power outage? Let us know here.