What should you do when there is a blackout?

What should you do when there is a blackout?

Take a look at our blackout survival guide:

1. Have flashlights ready in multiple, easily accessible locations around your home.  Be sure to also have plenty of fresh, spare batteries.  You need one good flashlight but having a few small, handheld  LED handheld flashlights will come in handy. Also, have a bunch of emergency candles plus matches available besides a propane lantern.

2. Have either a battery-operated radio or a solar radio so that you can stay in touch with the world.  Make sure your radio is in working condition by testing it from time to time. .

3. Fill the empty space in your freezer with containers of water as frozen water will displace air and keep food cold longer if the power goes out. Remember to leave space in the containers for the ice to expand.

4. If you use a landline, have at least one phone with a handset cord in your home. Many cordless phones will not work in a power outage. One tip for cell phone users is to keep at hand a cell phone car charger so you that you can charge it in your car if it runs down.

5. Do not forget to unplug electrical equipment such as computers, printers, televisions, and audio equipment.  When the power comes back on, there may be power spikes that can damage delicate electronics.

6. Do not open refrigerators or freezers any more than necessary. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for approximately 4 hours; an unopened freezer will keep food frozen for approximately 24 hours.

7. Keep a supply of books, board games, playing cards and other items available to keep you entertained and amused during a blackout. 

8. Avoid burning charcoal or using gasoline or propane-powered equipment such as charcoal grills or camping stoves inside your home, as the exposed odorless fumes could result in carbon monoxide poisoning.

9. Notify your power company in advance, if you use special health care equipment like oxygen generators or dialysis equipment that requires power. Most power companies will take note of this and will prioritize the response to your home should the power go out.

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