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As a homeowner, be proud of the beautiful home you've established but also be prepared for whatever is thrown at you. While you never predict squirrels and rodents to invade the comfort of your home, you might be more aware of the possibility of a power outage, whether temporary or longer-lasting.

Take a moment to think about where you live -- is the weather usually hot, cold, or mild? For 31% of power outages, the cause is weather-related, which means that regardless of your typical weather, you'll be dealing with extreme cases during a power outage. Understand that without power nor an emergency plan, you could be dealing with those elements with little access to relief. 

On the other hand, if you're living in a neighborhood that is blessed by more mild weather, you could still be faced with the possibility of a power outage. Another 10-20% of power outages are caused by squirrels, who also want to live in these milder climates alongside you. Regardless of your location, you should be prepared in case the lights go out. 

Know what to do in a power outage

  • Prepare a kit: It's important to know exactly where to go in your home once a power outage occurs and have emergency supplies there. As soon as the lights go out, you should turn to the direction of your emergency preparedness kit that you've already stocked. Preparing this kit now means easily accessing much-needed supplies in a stressful time. At the very least, stock the kit with flashlights and batteries, along with a first aid kit (you should know where your first aid kit is without the lights on). You can even go a step further with your kit by checking out a full FEMA recommended list.  
  • Freeze water: You can always keep a container of frozen water in your freezer in case of a power outage. Frozen water will help keep food cold when you have no electricity, so that delicious salmon that you just bought won't go bad immediately just because of a downed line.
  • Keep the fridge and freezer doors closed: Keep that cold air in! The more you keep the refrigerator closed, the longer the cool air will stay put. Only open the doors when you must
  • Get a portable cell phone charger: When the power is out, you'll want to know why, and the best source of information will be via smart phone. Make sure that you're able to charge your phone, and if the power is out, that means you won't have access to electricity. You can buy a portable battery that you recharge with a USB port -- keep that baby charged and only use it when you need it. A portable battery can go with you on any long-term camping trips, road trips, etc., so it's not a bad investment. 
  • Know where your shelters are: Keep in touch with your community and know where the safest housing is in case you need a shelter. Visit your town's website, check out Facebook forums, and talk to your neighbor to find out where you can go to stay warm or cool when an outage lasts more than a few hours. 

This is just the beginning of preparedness, and we can assure you that once you establish a secure plan, you'll feel confident during a power outage. When you're confident, you can remain calm and think clearly, which is exactly what you and your family needs during that time. For more tips on steps you can take during an outage, check out some more advice here.

Don't take chances with a vulnerable utility line

While weather is impossible to control, you can help prevent outages caused by squirrels or other rodents. On any day, an overzealous squirrel can damage power lines and poles, which leads to lost money, spoiled food (if you're not prepared), and inconvenience. Critter Guard’s Line Guards and Pole Guards are easy ways to protect your home and utilities. When you have your list of preparations out and ready for a power outage, remember that while you can't control a storm, you can control the security of your utilities. Once you can install Critter Guard, you can accurately say that yes, you did expect the unexpected. Contact us to learn more!