Between devastating storms and increasing temperatures, the country’s utility companies are experiencing significant demands on electricity. When storms damage the power company’s facilities and equipment, many homeowners find themselves without power for several days – no heating, cooling, or refrigeration. If your home is on a private well, a power outage can also prevent you from obtaining water. Here are some ways to prepare for long-term outages.

Get a Battery

If you have or are considering solar panels, invest in residential battery backup power systems. These systems store solar energy for you to use on-demand. They help with general power use when the sun is low and supply you with electricity during an outage. Speak with your electrician to create the most cost-effective solution.

Store Food

There are many options for emergency food. You can purchase pre-packaged kits that include everything needed to prepare and consume the food. Most of these foods have a shelf life of several years. You can also make your kit with canned goods, peanut butter, dried fruit, and energy bars. Be sure to rotate these items often to ensure they do not spoil. Keep an extra supply of utensils, manual can openers, and water purification tablets with your food.

Set aside two gallons of water for each family member for each day you may be without power. Anticipate drinking one gallon, with the other gallon for personal use. If you are in a warmer climate, consider additional drinking water.

Stock Up

Keep radios, flashlights, and batteries in a waterproof storage container with your emergency supplies. Be sure to remove batteries from all equipment and switch them out annually. Add an emergency blanket for each family member. These blankets come in small pouches, which makes storage easier. They are also great for winter emergencies, as they absorb heat to keep you warm. Charge power banks to keep mobile devices powered during a storm. Don’t forget to rotate them out so they are fully charged if you need them.

Understand Medical Needs

Speak with your utility company if you have any medical needs that require electricity. They can help you create a strategy to ensure that you or your family member continues to receive the care they need. Store at least a week’s supply of prescription medication for your family. If you have medicine that requires refrigeration, ensure that you have a system to keep that medicine cool. Don’t forget to include a first-aid kit, including bandages, pain relievers, and non-prescription medication your family uses frequently.

Modify Your Home

Take preventative measures to protect your family by installing carbon monoxide detectors on all levels of your home. Install residential battery backup power systems. Create an area specifically to store your family supplies. Write down your plans, so you do not have to rely on your memory during an emergency.

Protecting yourself and your loved ones is your primary goal in preparing for a long-term power outage. Taking the time to do these things helps lessen your anxiety in an emergency.

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