As the hurricane season continues to unleash its fury, it’s fairly common to experience pop-up thunderstorms and inclement weather. This means households across Texas experience power outages that have become more frequent and more severe. Knowing what to do during a blackout is key to ensuring the safety of your pets and family. Following these steps can guide you should a severe storm cause an electrical blackout in your neighborhood. If your home is the only one experiencing a power outage, call Mr. Sparky and we’ll send someone over right away! Our technicians are on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Immediately report the outage
During a blackout, you cannot charge your cell phone. Considering communication with the outside world will soon be cut-off, the first thing to do is call authorities and makes them aware of the power outage. You may also want to take this time to notify friends and relatives you are safe.
Have a disaster kit readily available
No matter the emergency, be ready with a disaster supplies kit. When outages happen, you never know if it will be a quick fix or an extended outage lasting for a couple of hours, or a couple of days. Your kit should include water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days — and don’t forget about your pets). At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food items, and things like manual can openers, flashlights and extra batteries (including for your cell phone).
Know when to toss the food in the fridge
When an outage strikes, the clock is ticking on the food in your refrigerator and freezer. The USDA advises food in a fridge could stay safely cold for four hours if the door isn’t opened and a full freezer will maintain temperature for about 48 hours (if it’s half full, that’s 24 hours) as long as you keep the door closed. Keep appliance thermometers in the fridge and freezer to ensure the temperature is 40 F or below in the fridge and 0°F or lower in the freezer. When in doubt, take individual foods’ temperature with a food thermometer.
Stock up on light sources
Always keep a stock of cheap candles on hand. More practical, though, are LED flashlights.
Keep battery operated cooling devices on-hand
Staying cool is a real concern in South Texas. Always keep a stash of battery-operated fans on hand and clearly labeled as to find them easily with a flashlight. It’s nothing like having AC, but prop one in a window and it makes a big difference.
Without power, we lack the resources we often take for granted, like a television or Internet to keep us informed. So don’t forget to have contact information for emergency services readily available.