7 Ways To Prepare For A Hurricane Power Outage
Combine the fury and force of a hurricane with a power grid in serious need of an upgrade and you can expect to lose power.
The problem with a power outage from hurricanes is the uncertainty of how long power will be out.
An extended power outage creates uncomfortable, even dangerous, living conditions. Living without power for days or weeks adds more problems. However, with some preparation you can minimize such things as food going bad or losing access to water.
Here at Emergency Zone we do our best to help people get ready for the storms. And in this post we offer a few tips to help ease the discomfort of a major power outage.
Power Outage Emergency Kit
Light. We have such easy access to it. Flip a switch and the room is flooded with light.
But every once in a while nature reminds us of our tenuous grasp on power and contemptuously snuffs out the lights.
Don’t wait for the lights to go out. Take action. Either build or buy a kit that is specifically designed for power outages. A power outage emergency kit can be as basic or comprehensive as you like:
Basic Kit might include:
- A couple of handheld flashlights
- At least one LED lantern
- A couple of light sticks
- Extra batteries and a small box of matches
A Comprehensive Kit:
- At least one large flashlight
- A headlamp
- 2-3 LED lanterns
- 2-3 mini LED flashlights
- Light sticks
- Candles and box of matches
- Two way radios
- Weather band AM/FM radio
- Extra batteries.
Those are suggested items. You can get as creative as you want with what you include. You can never have too much light --- at least during a power outage.
During a brief power outage your water won’t be affected. But in a severe storm or a major hurricane you may not have access to clean water.
Research and find a method of water storage that best suits you.
We recommend 5 gallon water storage boxes. Here’s why:
- Can store flat until you decide to fill them
- Easy to unfold when you need to fill
- You can stack filled boxes and save space
- Easily store untreated water up to a year, or if treated storage increases to 5 years
Remember you’ll need to store 1 gallon of water per person. If you have the space, store enough water to last at least three days, even longer if possible. Also, include some way to purify or filter water.
What To Do With Food In The Fridge?
In the face of a hurricane, with a good chance for a power outage, food is another priority in preparing. What food should you stock? What about the food in your refrigerator and freezer?
Here’s a few points to consider:
- Stock up on freeze dried food. It has a long shelf life and is easy to cook
- In a power outage you have about 4 hours before spoilage begins. Cook or throw out food in your refrigerator
- Keep the fridge closed as much as possible, trapping the cold air
- Your freezer will remain cold for 48 hours after the power is out
- Prep beforehand by freezing water in ziplock bags or tupperware, creating your own ice blocks you can use in coolers
Staying Clean Without Facilities
During a major hurricane or severe storm there’s a good chance you won’t be able to use your bathroom. Hygiene is key to staying healthy during an emergency.
We have a few tips that might help when people have to go...you know what:
- Use a 5 gallon bucket with a Honeybucket Toilet Seat
- Or have a potty box It stores conveniently flat, is easy to set up, and is durable
- Plastic liners for the emergency toilet
- Use Eco Gel powder is an easy, mess free way to deal the waste
- Biohazard bags to safely remove the waste
- Have soap for washing hands
Not a pleasant topic, but no matter what is happening, the human body keeps on functioning. So, remember hygiene and everyone will be okay.
Where you live will determine your level of temperature preparation for dealing with the cold. Even in a warm place like Florida you have to keep hypothermia in mind. Hurricanes dump a lot of water. It’s just a good idea to plan how you will stay warm.
Here are a few suggestions to keep you warm:
- Keep plenty of blankets on hand
- Layer your clothing. Try to avoid 100% cotton, which is not great for insulation, and takes a long time to dry when wet
- Use plastic and duct tape to seal off unused rooms, and plug any gaps where cold air might come through
- Have everyone stay in one room for warmth
- Before you light any flames make sure there are no gas leaks
- Use a fireplace if you have one
- Portable propane or gas heaters are an option as well
- Even small camp stoves that use solid fuel can warm up a small space
- Keep Emergency blankets on hand since they are designed for retaining body heat
Save Your Appliances
If the power is knocked out make sure you unplug your appliances. A sudden power surge could fry any appliance or device plugged into an outlet. Obviously when the storm or hurricane is past and the power is back on, you can plug in your appliances.
72 hr Emergency Kits/Bug Out Bags
Even if you feel you are fully prepared, a bug-out-bag is nice because you may actually have to dip into it and use some of the items. Plus a bug-out-bag is what you’ll want to grab if you have to evacuate on short notice.
Like other kits you can decide to build your own emergency bag and customize it to your liking. There are a lot of sites that offer tips on how to do that.
If you don’t have the time to build your own, you can always purchase a pre-made bug-out-bag. You’ll want to look at items in the bag before you buy, and decide if it has everything you want. You won’t find the perfect bag, and that’s okay, because once you have it you can add to it all you want.
When it comes to preparation, you are the one who has to take action. Being prepared won’t stop the storm, but your preparation will help you through it.
So, gain the knowledge, gather the supplies, and get prepared before a disaster strikes.