A severe storm can strike any time of the year, be it a rain, wind or snow storm or snow storm. These storms can cause major damage and power outages no matter what time of the year. Here I have gathered together some tips to help prepare you for any kind of storm.
First of all you will need to expect the power to go out. The majority of the time it will not be for very long, but sometimes it will last for days. For some it’s hard to imagine not having lights, heat, or an electric stove for that long.
It is best to have power outage kit that contains Flashlights, extra batteries of all types (you may use them in clocks, radios, flashlights, as well as other useful things) Blankets, extra hats and gloves, candles, matches, a wind up clock or watch, a portable radio and I know my kids really enjoy glow sticks.
Once again I have to recommend the MRE, meal ready to eat. They come with everything you need to survive. These can be picked up at most military surplus stores. Also if you have children it’s a good idea to have some family activities in the kit that you only do when the power goes out, it makes it more exciting for them, instead of scary.
Keep your kit in an accessible place so when the power goes out you can easily and safely reach it.
Unplug as many electrical devices as you can, especially sensitive things such as computers, turn off all lights except one so that you will know when the power has returned.
You will only have as much hot water as there is in the hot water heater. It is important to use it sparingly to make it last.
There are many safety issues that are not considered when thinking of power outages. A lot of people think “oh, we will be fine, I have a generator” Well that’s great, if you have a generator you will be a lot better off in a power outage than a lot of people, but there are a few things to remember.
Never put a running generator inside your home or garage. Generators are designed to be kept outdoors. Generators produce carbon monoxide. When running your generator outside, make sure that it is not near a window or vent leading into your home.
Only use heaters that are specifically for the indoors. Like the generators these also need proper ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
If you feel sick, light headed, dizzy, or sleepy, get into the fresh air immediately and get help. These are symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Also, never use cook with charcoal indoors. Charcoal produces toxic fumes that are deadly and kill quickly.
To help keep the warmth in your home close off the unused rooms and cover your windows with blankets. Place towels over the gaps on the bottom of doorways to keep the drafts out.
If there is any possibility of freezing it is a good idea to keep your water running just a little bit to avoid having your pipes freeze. Water expands and if it freezes in your pipes they can burst, then you will have to fix your pipes.
Next we need to consider wind storms. You should remove anything from your yard that can blow away, such as garbage cans and children’s toys.
If there is anywhere that you can park where it is not a even a possibility for a tree to fall on it, move your vehicles there. From personal experience, this does happen.
When you are indoors stay away from the windows. Anything blowing around out there can hit the window and break it. You don’t want to be sitting next to it if it does; this applies to lightning storms as well.
Never approach a downed power line.
If your power does not go out but there is still a chance of freezing you should keep your heat set at 55 degrees. For out doors you should disconnect your garden hoses and cover the faucets.
These tips should cover safety tips for most of types of seasonal storms. Being prepared can avoid a ton of grief during and in the aftermath of a storm. Make a checklist of things to do and put it in your kit, that way you won’t forget anything in the frenzy. So be ready for these storms and start putting your kit together today.