How to prepare for a power outage
A power outage can be an inconvenient situation at best, and a scary one at worst. You may associate outages with major weather events like powerful thunderstorms, but there are countless reasons your home may be left without power for extended periods of time. For example, should a dead tree fall and sever your power line, you could be left without electricity.
Gathering some of the things you need during a power outage is a task every household should take the time to accomplish.
Back-up power and heat
In addition to anything you plug into your outlets, like your phone charger or television, all of your appliances use electricity, as does your garage door opener, lights and possibly even your heating system. Being ready with a backup generator can help you keep critical items running during an outage. Keeping yourself and your family warm is a top concern, especially during a wintertime outage. If your home has a fireplace and you already have a pile of wood stocked up, you’re in good shape. Portable kerosene or other fuel-burning heaters may also be an option, DenGarden.com, a home and garden advice website, noted.
When turning to backup electricity and heat, safety should be top of mind. Your portable generator and any fuel-burning appliance can give off carbon monoxide, which can be dangerous and even deadly. Make sure to run generators a good distance away from the house, allow for adequate ventilation and outfit your home with battery-powered carbon monoxide detectors, U.S. News & World Report stated.
Food and water
If your refrigerator no longer has power, the food inside could begin to spoil. Keeping the refrigerator door closed can help slow the process. According to the Red Cross, an unopened refrigerator will keep food safe for up to four hours, and an unopened freezer will keep food frozen for 48 hours, or 24 hours if the freezer is only half-full. Stock up on nonperishable foods, like canned goods and dried fruits to keep yourselves sustained through the outage.
Be prepared with a storage of water, too. The standard suggestion is one gallon of water per person per day, according to Ready.gov. Just to be safe, plan for three days’ worth of water.
The right homeowners insurance policy can protect your finances against major expenses in certain cases. For example, should your power outage be caused by a fallen tree that damages your home and power line, your homeowners insurance policy may help pay for some of the repairs. In some qualifying conditions, it may even cover the loss of food due to spoilage.
To find out how a homeowners insurance policy can help out in some cases of power outage, contact a CIG insurance agent in your area.