Back in 2003, roughly 50 million people were living without power in the biggest blackout in US history. The thing is a blackout can happen to anyone, anywhere, so as part of National Preparedness Month (and because we are partial to power) we wanted to address how to help plan and survive a blackout.
BEFORE A BLACKOUT
To begin preparing for a black out, you have to do the following:
• Build an emergency kit including a flashlight, batteries, portable radio, non-perishable food and water. • Take energy conservation measures recommended by the power industry to help prevent rolling blackouts. We discuss these tips later. • Always have your gas tank half full because gas stations rely on electricity to power pumps. • Buy a generator. Generators can help you keep your refrigerator running and allow you to use any necessary appliances.
DURING A BLACKOUT
• Avoid using candles and stick to flashlights. • Listen to the local radio or generator-powered TV for information. • Leave one light “on” so you will know when your power returns. • Never connect your generator to your home’s electrical system. Connect the appliances you want to use directly to your generator. Do not run your generator inside the house or garage. Unless, of course, you have a Yeti 1250 solar generator. Our solar generator requires no gas, produces zero fumes and provides quiet-energy to fuel your fridge.
- Do not call 9-1-1 unless you have a life-threatening emergency.
The power industry offers a number of recommendations to help conserve power, and to prevent a potential blackout. They advise:
• Limit your “leaking energy.” TVs, chargers and other appliances use electricity even when they are switched off. Try to unplug electronic devices you are not using to prevent additional and unnecessary leaking energy. • Use electrical-heavy appliances such as dishwashers earlier in the morning or late at night. • Only use the AC when you are home. • Replace light bulbs with energy-efficient light bulbs. • Turn lights off when you are not in the room. • Close windows when the AC or hearing system is turned on. Take the time this month to prioritize, plan and be informed. In the event of an emergency, you don’t want to be caught in the dark. Resolve to be ready.