Living without power for a few hours or even a day can be an inconvenience but it certainly is manageable. To be without power, however, for an extended period of time can be much more difficult to navigate and can be dangerous for certain populations, especially if they lack the proper supplies.
There are steps and measures you can take to be proactive in the face of losing power over the course of a few days or even a week.
First and foremost, if you or someone in your household relies on electrically powered medical equipment to survive, you should be in contact with your local fire department before the loss of any power to alert them to your needs and they will make sure they mark you down on their list for priority emergency power restoration. Along the same vein, if you or someone in your household requires daily medications, it is a good idea to have at least a week’s worth of medication on hand in case of an extended power outage. If the power is out for that long, there is most likely a good reason for it, whether it is a serious snowstorm or downed trees or powerlines, you may not be able to leave the home so be sure to have enough medication in supply in case you become unexpectedly homebound.
Over the years, things we always needed or relied on during power outages have been consolidated into one device, our cell phones. You use it for internet, communication, weather reports, emergency alerts, a flashlight, and yes, even as a telephone! But what happens when that battery dies? When the internet is down and you don’t have cellular data? Being reliant on one piece of technology may leave you in the lurch when the power goes out!
Here are some tips on how to prepare yourself and your home in order to avoid such a predicament:
Battery Operated Phone Charger- this will provide at least one full life charge to your phone so that you can continue to rely on it when the power is out
Battery Operated Radio- Radio is a fantastic way to keep apprised of what’s happening in your community, the conditions of the roads, when to expect the power on, and there is the little thing called music they play sometimes that can be quite entertaining and useful when trying to pass the time!
Flashlight & Batteries- while your phone most likely provides a strong LED flashlight function, phones die and sometimes you need to use your phone while also using the flashlight! Make sure to have a couple of flashlights in the home as well as ample batteries to power them
Corded Landline- A lot of people no longer maintain landlines at their homes, this is a mistake, not only can emergency services located you up to five minutes faster if you call from a landline, if you only have a cordless landline, then you will not be able to use it during a power outage. Try to keep at least one phone in the home that is on a cord and hooked up so that you can maintain communication (if your phone dies) and in case you need to contact emergency services
Candles- Being mindful of fire safety, having plenty of candles on hand (as well as matches or a lighter) will help to provide light on those dark powerless nights while preserving the battery life of your flashlights
Food & Water- You should keep a stock pile of non-perishable, easily prepared food in case you find yourself homebound for an indefinite amount of time. You should also have a supply of water, a good rule of thumb is to have one gallon of water, per person, for each day
Personal Care Items- You should be sure to always have an extra supply of toilet paper on hand for situations like these but also sanitary products and other personal grooming items that might be needed during an extended stay inside
First Aid Kit- Most people have first aid kits in their homes and cars but invest in an extensive at home first aid kit so that any accident or injury can be treated timely if you are unable to leave the house
Keeping Warm- Sure you can lose power during a summer thunderstorm but more likely than not, if you lost power the temperatures outside are cold and they will only drop further at night. Always have plenty of blankets in the house as well as sweaters and sweater shirts that can be used for layering and keeping warm. You may always want to invest in some hand and foot warmers that are designed for skiers and other outdoor winter activities. These can be extremely helpful in warming the extremities which will in turn warm the rest of your body
Multipurpose Tools- You never know what you are going to need when the lights go out! Having a multipurpose tool like Swiss Army products can be the difference in surviving and thriving! There are a variety of tools that incorporate many different functionalities and they are usually small and can be stored without taking up too much space only to be taken out when you need them
Games & Cards- Being stuck at home without power in the 21st century is not what it used to be! Everyone relies on technology for some aspect of their lives and probably for many aspects of their personal entertainment; the only thing worse than being stuck in the house is a raging case of cabin fever! Boredom breeds irritability so try to make sure to have some board games and a deck of cards in the house. Position your flashlights and candles so you can play a rowdy game of Monopoly, a feisty round of UNO, or turn that radio on and have a dance party! Try to make a list of games you can play that require little supplies like charades, Pictionary, or other guessing games so that when the power goes out and the boredom sets in, even if you don’t own any board games you will still have a variety of activities to choose from
With these tips and suggestions, hopefully you will get through your next power outage with as little inconvenience as possible! If you have any concerns about the safety and wellbeing of your loved one living at home, give All Care a call at 781-598-2454 to see if we can provide some added resources or services to help offer increased peace of mind, especially in the case that something like an unexpected and extended power outage occur!