What to Do During an Electrical Outage
A power outage is one of those things that are inevitable regardless of where you live. Despite this fact, it is never fun when the power goes because it means spending time in the dark, not being able to watch TV, wondering if food will go bad, no internet, and phones with low batteries. Whether its natural causes such as lightning, wind, iced-up lines, freezing rain, or mechanical causes such as a blown fuse or a shutdown due to maintenance, understanding what to do when there is a blackout is important in helping you and your family get through it.
Before we proceed any further, it is worth noting that there are different types of power outages and each requires different reactions.
Short-term power outage
This is the most common type of electrical outage, and in most cases, it will take just a few minutes or at most an hour before it is back.
Short-term power outage normally occurs only in your house or on your block so the first thing you need to do is check if your neighbors have power. If they do, then the issue is with your line. One of the most common causes of an electrical outage in just one house is your service being interrupted by a fallen tree or branch.
This will require an electrician’s attention.
If the power is gone on the entire block, you may have to contact your electric provider. Normally it will take a very short time for a repair person to be sent.
The length of the blackout will depend on the cause, which should be communicated to you by the electricity company.
As a precautionary move, unplug all your electrical devices such as computers, mobile phones, TVs, microwaves, and so on to avoid damage from voltage surge when the power is restored. Even after the power is restored, be sure to wait a few minutes before turning on your electrical appliances.
Long-term power outage
Nobody likes the sound of this. A long-term power outage is usually caused by natural disasters such as storms, earthquakes, and hurricanes.
If you realize your whole town is under blackout, it may be for your own good to start looking for power alternatives such as generators, candles, torch lights. You should also ensure you have first-aid supplies in hand, sufficient supply of clean water, and enough baby supplies if you have an infant at home.
Winter power outage
One of the most common causes of a power outage in the winter is ice on the power lines. Winter weather tends to weigh heavily even on normal sturdy power lines and over time; the weight becomes unbearable, leading to the powerlines breaking.
In case of a power outage in the winter, your goal is to ensure your household stays warm. The winter time is one of the worst time to have a power outage.
Move to a room with few windows and openings, preferably the one with a fireplace, or any source of heat. Also, resort to the alternative source of heat such as propane burner. Also utilize any blankets and other warm clothing that is available to you.
Fireplaces should always be maintained properly throughout the years to avoid a letdown when they are needed during a power outage.
Unfortunately, electricity blackouts can also have secondary effects during the winter. For instance, your plumbing pipes could freeze with water inside, making it hard to access water, so make sure you have sufficient water reserved.
Summer power outage
It may not be as bad to have a power outage in the summer as in the winter. Usually, blackouts in the winter is caused by heat, especially when the metal conductor in the power line swells, causing it to fall. If the line drops too much so that it is close to the ground, it can result in a short circuit, cutting power to that line.
In the event of a power outage in the summer, make sure your refrigerators and freezers are closed to preserve your food. Take out canned soda, bottled water, and juices from the refrigerator and store them somewhere cool. Alternatively, ensure the refrigerator is completely full rather than half full or empty.
Turn off air conditioners until the power is restored and use natural ventilation to keep cool.
Block the sun from entering the house by pulling the blinds, curtains, or shades. This will ensure the room remains cool.
Install surge suppressors to protect your electronics from damage as a result of power surges when it is restored.
If the heat becomes unbearable in your home, find an outdoor space with air-conditioning, and hang out there. For instance, head out to your local movie hall or supermarket to cool down.
Drink plenty of water to ensure you stay hydrated all the time.