6 Things You Had No Idea Could Save You During a Blackout
It is very hard to imagine everyday life without electricity, and while power outages don’t happen very often, they could happen at any given time. It could be a natural disaster, an overload, or even human error that leaves you without electricity for hours, if not days. Some people might never experience a prolonged blackout, but it could happen even today. So, you should always be prepared to face this troubling situation.
Bright Side would like you to be prepared in the case an emergency like this happens, and you need to keep the main functions in your life up and running.
1. Fill your bathtub with water
If you are expecting a strong thunderstorm or a blackout has just happened, it’s best to fill your bathtub. Your municipal water might stop flowing, and if you don’t have stored water, things will get pretty hard. That’s why filling up your tub is important, since it will give you enough water to flush the toilet, wash your hands, and even drink from it. Remember that the same water that flows through the kitchen sink, flows through the bathtub as well.
2. Bring your solar lights inside
If you don’t have solar lights on your exterior, maybe you should get a few and leave them exposed to sunlight. This means that in the case of a blackout, you can bring these lights inside and have them provide you with light for many hours. The level of the lighting may be low, but it will be there for hours on end, and then you can take them out again in the morning. Remember that you only need them during the night, so even 8 hours is more than enough.
3. Keep your car’s gas tank full
Now, this can be useful only in cases when you are expecting really bad weather and a blackout is bound to happen. Just make sure to fill up your gas tank, since gas stations need electricity in order to operate. This way, you will have the energy to charge your phone and any other devices if needed. However, you shouldn’t leave your car running in a garage while charging your devices, since this might cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
4. Choose one room to sit in
During the cold months of the year, staying warm during a blackout is one of your first and main concerns. You should choose a room that has few or no windows on the south side so that you can enjoy the maximum amount of heat during the day. Cover all the windows with blankets or any other cloth you have during the night to keep the heat inside. Stay close to the person or people you are with and cuddle with your pets if you have any.
5. Keep the fridge and freezer closed and fill the latter with ice packs
It’s important to open the fridge and freezer only if necessary and only a few times per day, so you should better know what you are taking out to minimize the time it stays open. Keep in mind that a fridge can keep food cold for a few hours and a full freezer can maintain its temperature for up to 48 hours. You can also throw a few ice packs in the freezer as an extra precautionary measure. If it’s winter, you can store your food outside if an outage lasts a lot longer than a few hours.
6. Buy a couple of portable propane heaters
Propane heaters are a great way to heat up your house when you don’t have electricity. However, you should make sure that the one you have is suitable for indoor use and that there isn’t any leak that could spread all over your home. The safest way would be to light up the heater outside and once you make sure that there is no leak, you can transfer it inside.
What not to do during a blackout
- Lighting candles: This might be the most common solution, but it can actually turn out to be very dangerous since they can tip over and cause fires. The light they offer is also very low, so you’re better off using a lantern.
- Keeping devices plugged in: During a thunderstorm, you never know when and how strong the electricity will be when it comes back. An electrical surge or thunder can destroy all your devices if they are still plugged in.
- Running a generator in your garage: This might be the most deadly thing you can do since a generator releases too much carbon monoxide. Its effects are slow but dangerous.
- Using a really old flashlight: The batteries that keep your flashlight running can get damaged after a long period of sitting in the device. So, if you try to use it years later, you will see that it will be useless. That’s why it’s important to either check it every once in a while or keep it without the batteries inside.
- Ignoring traffic signs: You may be panicked, and see that the traffic lights don’t work. However, this shouldn’t be an excuse to cross intersections without checking. Remember to check the traffic signs and stop at every intersection before you cross it.
Have you ever experienced a prolonged blackout, and if so, what did you during that time?