Emergency situations like tornadoes, floods or snowstorms can cause power outages. Even squirrels and rodents tampering with utility lines can cause power failures. When these happen, you want to be prepared for yourself and your family. Here are some tips for getting through an outage.
Know Your Area
Natural disasters can occur anywhere at any time but knowing which are more likely to occur in your area can help. Dealing with flooding is different than dealing with tornadoes or snow storms. Have a list of radio stations that carry emergency updates. Your TV and Wi-Fi may not be available depending on your situation to get your usual news updates. A battery-operated radio can provide you with access to information in this case.
The American Red Cross suggests that each member of the family has enough food supplies in their emergency kit to last three days. Here are some non-perishable ideas to have on hand and in the kit:
- Dry crackers – seal these in Ziploc bags
- Canned meat – tuna, chicken, Spam are all good ideas
- Snack bars – think granola or energy bars
- Cereal – dry cereal makes a great snack and an easy breakfast with canned milk
- Milk that doesn't need refrigeration. You can find them in a juice box size now.
- Fruit – in cans or snack size pouches or tins
- Packaged meals – there is a big variety of ready to go meals nowadays that does not require refrigeration
- Baby supplies – extra formula and baby food
- Drinks – energy drinks like Gatorade, juice boxes, etc.
- Water – have bottles for drinking but make sure you have extra jugs on hand for other things like washing up
Supplies You Will Need
You need some basic supplies ready when something disastrous happens. Having a tote with these supplies inside will guarantee you know where everything is. Include the following:
- Paper supplies plates, cups, paper towels, hand or baby wipes, disposable silverware, toilet paper, garbage bags
- Manual can opener
- Toilet paper – this should go in the tote but have a roll in each individual bag as well
- Baby supplies – extra diapers, wipes, lotion
- Extra batteries and battery-operated items like flashlights and radios
- Candles, oil lamps, and matches
- Plastic sheeting
- Duct tape
- Bedding supplies such as blankets and small pillows. Again, keep emergency ones in a tote properly labeled and easily accessible. Put a small throw blanket in each individual emergency kit.
- Each child's kit should have small toys, doll, or a stuffed animal
Place a big first aid kit in a tote with other emergency supplies. Place small ones inside each person's bag. Always have at least a month's worth of prescription medication on hand. Things you might want to include that may not be in a typical first aid kit are:
- Ziploc bags – for ice packs
- Insect repellent
- Children's pain reliever
- Sewing kit
- Disposable gloves
Everyone should have their own emergency preparedness kit. Depending on who it is for, it may include toiletry supplies, feminine products, extra glasses or contacts, and extra clothing.
Being Prepared Brings Peace of Mind
An emergency preparedness kit gives the whole family peace of mind. Teaching kids what to do when catastrophe strikes prevents panic. Preparing a meeting place means everyone knows where to go and how to find each other. Use a buddy system to ensure that everyone has someone looking out for them. Know where the storm shelters are in your town. Put first aid booklets in the kit.
Simple planning now means safety when power outages and disaster strikes. While these disasters can be sudden and are often out of our control, power outages from critters can be prevented. Power failures from squirrel and rodent damage happen more often than expected, and our Line Guards and Pole Guards can thwart powerless situations. Contact us to see how we can help your family stay safe and protect your power lines.