Power outages are sudden, unexpected, and potentially devastating. The worst thing about them is that you don’t know how long they’ll last. Maybe you’ll get lucky and your home will be without power for half an hour.
Or, you have to deal with no power for hours – possibly even days in some extreme scenarios.
The main reason power outages or blackouts are so scary is the lack of preparation for them. If you don’t have anything in place that plans for a loss of power, you’re pretty much screwed. This is when it becomes really worrying as you’re frantically looking for candles and worrying about what to do.
Thankfully, you don’t have to live in fear! There are plenty of actionable steps you can take around your home to prepare it for power outages. Here’s everything you should do:
Stock up on items to keep you warm
Generally, every household should have some items to keep everyone warm throughout the cold months. We’re talking about blankets, thick socks, slippers, thick jumpers, hats, gloves, etc. Wearing a few of these things in your house can stop you from using too much energy anyway, so they’re handy to have.
When the power goes out, you could be without any central heating for hours. In the dead of night, your house can go extremely cold. Arming yourself with items to keep everyone warm is essential to make it as comfortable as possible.
Moreover, think about investing in portable space heaters. Yes, they often require electricity to run – but more on that in just a moment, don’t worry! The idea is that you have things that are separate from your home’s heating system to supply warmth. If you don’t have a fireplace, space heaters are the next best option.
One final thing to note when talking about warmth; keep your home well-insulated at all times. Again, this should be common practice in your bid to save energy. We won’t go into detail on what to do here, but the aim is to stop heat from escaping your house. As a result, a lack of power and heating shouldn’t hit you as harshly.
Ensure you have a backup electricity source
Of all the things you can do to prepare your home for power outages, this is the most important!
When you don’t have any power, you need another source. Portable generators are probably the best idea if power outages are rare – they’re cheap, can easily be stored, and require minimal maintenance. At the same time, they should have enough power to supply electricity to some key areas of your home – like the fridge/freezer.
Alternatively, you can get a larger generator that’s static and sits outside all the time. It needs more maintenance, and is more expensive than a portable option, but does have the capacity to power your entire home. Every household is different, just be sure to find the best home generator for power outages based on your unique needs.
Right away, your emergency generator gives you the possibility to keep your home running. It can stop things from going off in the fridge/freezer, provide power for lighting, or be used to power up the space heaters that are keeping you warm. There’s generally no downside to having a generator handy – particularly if you pick a solar one as you can use it during the brighter months to get clean energy in your home.
Purchase a portable cooking stove
If you are lucky enough to have a traditional fireplace in your home, you’re pretty much sorted during blackouts. Light a fire to brighten up the living room and provide a heat source. Likewise, you can then cook on the fire, so nobody will have to go hungry. You could easily last a few hours without power thanks to fire alone.
Sadly, we aren’t all this fortunate!
With that in mind, you should invest in a portable cooking stove. You can find them online in loads of places as people typically buy them for camping trips. There are two different variants to choose from:
- A gas one – Naturally, there needs to be a gas tank attached and you then use it like a gas-powered stovetop.
- An electric one – This will require the use of your backup generator, but it tends to be way safer to use indoors as there is no open flame.
Either way, these portable stovetops are well worth the investment. You can easily keep them in the shed when they’re not in use – and you also have something to use if you fancy cooking outside in the summer!
Now, you have a way to cook some basic meals if the power goes out before you’ve eaten dinner. This way, nobody has to starve or try to survive on chips and dip alone.
Get battery-powered lighting
You’ll be amazed at how many different types of battery-powered lighting are available these days. Fairly lights are an obvious choice – hang them around your home for some nice lighting effects and decoration. Then, if there’s a power outage, you rely on them to bring some light into your home.
You can also find LED strip lights with battery packs attached that stick to surfaces. They’re really popular in kitchens with people putting them under countertops or cabinets. Again, when your lights don’t work, you can turn these on to supply some brightness.
Of course, having a nice supply of tealights or candles will never be a bad thing. Light them around your home and you get a nice flicker of light and warmth.
On that note, you’ve prepared your home for a power outage. We’ve tackled the key concerns most people have during a blackout. You won’t have to worry about feeling cold if your home is insulated and you’ve got lots of warm clothing/blankets. Likewise, a backup generator can provide power to space heaters that will keep you even warmer. A generator also helps you use certain appliances/devices while the power is out. With a portable cooking stove, you will never go hungry – and some additional light sources deal with the darkness. Now, you’re perfectly equipped to tackle the next power outage without it disrupting your life.