Power outages or blackouts can happen for a number of reasons; thunderstorms, snow or ice storms, fire, tornados, earthquake, hurricane, high-energy consumption, accidents, overused power grids and human error. Power outages are especially dangerous during times of extreme temperatures and when the health of you or a family member is in jeopardy due to the need for uninterrupted electricity to power a medical device or keep medicine cold. It can also cost you money in damaged electronics and ruined food. The bottom line is that the safety and comfort of your family is at risk during a power outage.
Blackouts are not only dangerous to your health but can also cost you money. An estimation for a family of four is $800 on food each month, and much of that can be ruined in a prolonged blackout.
- If the power is out for less than 2 hours, then the food in your refrigerator and freezer will be safe to consume. While the power is out, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to keep food cold for longer.
If the power is out for longer than 2 hours, follow the guidelines below:
- For the Freezer section: A freezer that is half full will hold food safely for up to 24 hours. A full freezer will hold food safely for 48 hours. Do not open the freezer door if you can avoid it.
- For the Refrigerated section: Pack milk, other dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, gravy, and spoilable leftovers into a cooler surrounded by ice. Inexpensive Styrofoam coolers are fine for this purpose.
- Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of your food right before you cook or eat it. Throw away any food that has a temperature of more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
A large expense can occur when the power comes back on and causes a power surge. This surge can damage your most expensive electronics, including big-screen televisions and computer equipment.
Another problem when your power goes out is that your water purification systems may not be functioning fully. You will need to have safe water for drinking, cooking, and personal hygiene. Your state, local, or tribal health department can make specific recommendations for boiling or treating water in your area.
- Do not use contaminated water to wash dishes, brush your teeth, wash and prepare food, wash your hands, make ice, or make baby formula. If possible, use baby formula that does not need to have water added. You can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to wash your hands.
- If you use bottled water, be sure it came from a safe source. If you do not know that the water came from a safe source, you should boil or treat it before you use it. Use only bottled, boiled, or treated water until your supply is tested and found safe.
- Boiling water, when practical, is the preferred way to kill harmful bacteria and parasites. Bringing water to a rolling boil for 1 minute will kill most organisms.
When it is very cold outside and you are without power, you need to be aware of the dangers of hypothermia. Hypothermia happens when a person’s core body temperature is lower than 35°C (95°F). Chronic hypothermia happens from ongoing exposure to cold indoor temperatures (below 16°C or 60°F). Below are some symptoms of hypothermia:
- Low body temperatures
- Slow heartbeat
- Slow breathing
- Purple toes/ Purple fingers
An excellent solution to these problems is to install a generator or personal power supply to your home. This will provide uninterrupted comfort and protection for your home and family in the event of a power outage. A powerful electric generator system will automatically kick on when your power goes out and keep your life going – uninterrupted.
Don’t be left in the dark the next time you have a power outage. By installing a generator you will have uninterrupted comfort and protection for your home and family in the event of a power outage. The peace of mind knowing that you or your family will not be at risk and the freedom that comes from knowing your life is unaffected by blackouts and other power problems.