What To Do When You Lose Power
Are you prepared?
Houston/Texas is known for its yearly storms. Some years are worse than others and chances are at least once you have been without power. Just yesterday a storm related incident caused a large part of Houston lose power for several hours. [Chron.com]
When the lights go out the most important thing is to keep your family calm. A few hours of no lights, television, music player, or microwave is bound to test the patience of your family. Try to talk about your power loss plan before you need it. The following is a guide to help you through the eventuality of a power outage.
Grab Your Emergency Power Outage Box
Your power outage box should contain flashlights for every member of your family, plenty of batteries, a batter operated radio, candles, lighters, and lanterns. You can also throw in a few things to keep your family entertained. Like a deck of cards, or board game. Keep it in a place you can easily find in the dark.
Get Some Water
In a power outage the water sanitation system can stop functioning. This is limited to extensive power outages that may happen in hurricanes or floods. If this is the case, fill as many bottles, glasses, and pots with water as you can. You can even fill sinks and tubs.
Unplug ALL Electronics
When the power comes back on it often comes with a power surge. This power surge could damage your computers, laptops, smart phones, sound systems, and even appliances like microwaves. Anything with sensitive electronic components are more at risk, so focus on those.
Flashlights & Candles Basics
Give everyone a flashlight to use while moving around the house so they can avoid any obstacles. If you have young children headlamps and glowsticks may be a better option. Candles should always be left stationary on a sturdy surface with a tray underneath. A safe option for emergency candles is to place them in mason jars.
Refrigerators & Freezers
Once the power is out food in the fridge with stay cool for 4 hours, and food in the freezer will last up to 24 hours. If you know your power outage is temporary, leave your fridge and freezer doors closed. However, if you’re buckling down for a long-term power outage, such as a hurricane or tropical storm, eat what’s in the fridge, starting with dairy products. Try to keep the refrigerator door closed; avoid continuously opening it.
On a side note, if you have renters or homeowner’s insurance, most policies contain a clause that will award you up to $250 to replace the groceries that go bad during a power outage.
Unfortunately, power outages and natural disasters give the perfect opportunity for thieves to take advantage. Make sure your home is secure and your pets are inside.
If you have a portable generator now is the time to start it up. Remember to NEVER run your generator inside the house and make sure the area you do run your generator is well ventilated and protected from the elements. Most generators can only run 1 large appliance at a time. This means you may have to switch back and forth between your HVAC system and your refrigerator. Keep your smart phones and tablets charged using portable battery packs, solar chargers, and rechargeable emergency power generators.
Check on Neighbors
The best part about Texas is the people. Extend some southern hospitality and check on your neighbors that may not be as prepared as you, especially if they are elderly. Pass along any information you’ve gained about the power outage and/or storm and check back frequently if you’re worried about their safety.
Whether you live in one of our custom-built homes, or not, Putnam Builders wants all of our neighbors to be prepared for power outages. Stay Safe Texas.
Putnam Builders has been building custom homes on the Gulf Coast of Texas and surrounding areas since 1963. We would love the opportunity to discuss your custom home ideas in our design studio in Bacliff, TX or in the comfort of your own home. Please contact us at 281-339-0838 or request a free consultation.