Ready for the next power outage with these simple tips.
Many of us experienced the powerful storms that hit our community last Friday and I for one was not prepared for the almost three days of no electricity. We realize how important electricity is to our lives when things such as basic electricity is missing and the horribly inconvenience it can cause. The storms that hit South East Michigan seemed to be a normal occurrence with the weather changing from a muggy to cooling down, but the winds from this storm were close to 70 mph leaving more than 400,000 homes without power and more than 2000 downed power lines. Needless to say it was a rough weekend for many of us and so I thought it appropriate to share these tips to help get through the next power outage with this information. Please share and be safe when strong storms hit and be ready for the next power outage.
This month, take some time to prepare a storm survival kit for your home. The kit can be placed in your pantry, basement or storm cellar for safe keeping until you need it. Be sure to rotate the items that might become stale and plan to have enough on hand for each member of the family for a few days. Food that needs no refrigeration or cooking is perfect for the kit. Items like canned tuna fish or meat, crackers, box juices, granola bars and canned fruit are suitable. You should also include a supply of pet food for your pets. Water is an important part of your kit. You’ll want to have a gallon in storage for each person in the home. Keep a hand-operated can opener (not electric) in the kit, along with basic utensils. Once your food and water needs are taken care of, fill another box with these items you might need when all the stores are closed or the power goes out:
With these items safely in storage, you’ll have everything you need to face any home emergency this spring. While you’re thinking about home safety, take the time to talk with your insurance agent. Has your policy kept up with your changing family or growing possessions? Ask about flood insurance, which may not be part of your current homeowner’s policy.
- Battery-powered lantern or heavy-duty flashlight,
- Portable radio
- with fresh spare batteries
- in secure holders, and matches
- effective on different types of fires
- to catch drips
- Toilet paper
- Hurricane lamps or candles
- An ABC-rated fire extinguisher
- Heavy-duty gloves and a change of clothes
- Extension cords with ground-fault interrupter sockets
- A basic tool kit
- Basic repair supplies
including duct tape, electrical tape, pipe clamps, a propane torch, a tarp, staple gun, rope, can of roof tar, tube of silicone caulk, pipe joint compound, plastic sheeting and thin strips of wood
- Extra blower belt for the furnace and wheel belt for the vacuum.
Another important part of disaster readiness is to get to know your neighbors. Although it may seem unrelated, knowing people in your neighborhood can help you in time of emergency (or you may be able to help them). Even if the only “emergency” you ever encounter is running out of sugar when baking a batch of cookies, you’ll benefit from a good relationship with those who live near you.