Being Prepared for a Summertime Blackout
Keeping your home cool and taking care of your family when the electricity goes out is an important concern, especially if you have small children, elderly family members and pets.
How do I prepare for a blackout during the summertime?
- Keep flashlights and extra batteries available around the home.
- Invest in a Ryobi or similar battery-operated fan – there are also battery-operated bucket/swamp cooler set-ups that you can purchase from the hardware store.
- Keep extra water available (sealed bottled water is the safest option) as well as non-perishable healthy snacks.
- Invest in a generator, if possible, to provide backup power during the outage, do your research to make sure it will provide enough power to supply your AC Unit.
- Buy portable battery chargers for your phone and keep them charged/in working order.
- Keep your car fueled up.
- Change the batteries in your CO detector.
How do I stay safe during a blackout in the summertime?
There are several things you can do to stay safe during the summer heat in the event of a blackout.
- Avoid unnecessary travel.
- Keep freezers and Refrigerators closed as much as possible to keep your food cold.
- Use flashlights, not candles.
- Unplug appliances and other electrical accessories not hooked up to a surge protector to avoid power surge damage as the electricity comes back on.
- Wait a few minutes after power is restored to plug appliances/accessories back in, to avoid surges in power as the grid comes back on.
- Stay in the lowest levels of your home.
- Keep the sun from heating the inside of your house by keeping curtains closed and/or lining pieces of cardboard with tinfoil and putting them up in windows to reflect heat away.
- Stay hydrated, eat small meals/snacks throughout the day! Your body can cool itself through sweating, but you need to keep up your electrolytes and water consumption to give your body the tools it needs to stay cool. The Red Cross suggests keeping electrolytes up by eating small snacks and meals throughout the day rather than drinking sugary electrolyte drinks.
- The Red Cross suggests staying away from sugary, caffeinated, or alcoholic drinks during hot weather.
- The Red Cross also recommends not using portable fans when the heat is over 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Check if any public centers are open with electricity or a generator and providing a place to escape the heat if the heat is unbearable in your home.
Help prevent city wide blackouts by reducing the stress to the electric grid by making sure your AC Unit is energy efficient and you are conserving electricity during heat waves.
Call the experts at Norman Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing if your unit needs its biannual tune up or seems to be struggling.