Right now, California is experiencing extreme heat waves, which are causing all types of issues for residents. As the heat rises, so does the risk of rolling power outages. As most people rely on AC to stay cool, you’ll need to know what to do if were to be no longer an option.
Here’s how to prepare for a power outage.
How to Prepare for a Power Outage? Prepare Now
The most important tip here is to prepare now, before the power outages happen. You want to have the tools you need if the power goes out, so you’re not looking for supplies once it happens. The less time you spend trying to mitigate the effects of the heat, the safer you and your family will be.
Follow these tips and gather any necessary supplies now, so you’ll be ready if anything happens.
Prepare for Wildfires
With heat waves comes the risk of wildfire, and you need to be prepared. What will you do if the power goes out? There are some things you can do to keep safe, even if there’s no power.
Firstly, ensure you know how to open the garage door without power. You don’t want to be trapped in the house if a fire is making its way to your home. Create an evacuation plan and make a supply kit, so you’re ready to go if you need to get out. This includes packing battery charging kits, and extra batteries, for all of your devices. A rechargeable flashlight is also something you should have in your pack.
If the power does go out, there are some steps you should take. Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed, and shut off the gas. Stay away at least 10 feet from electrical facilities and overhead power lines. Finally, stay informed with a battery powered radio or your cellphone, to keep up to date on fires in your area.
Prepare Your Home for Heat
If you make changes to your home now, you’ll be able to mitigate the effects of the heat. Outside, paint the house a light reflecting color, rather than a darker one that will absorb sunlight. Check for any cracks in the exterior that are letting hot air in, and caulk them to seal them up. You can also plant vegetation that’s known for lowering temperatures, such as aloe vera, snake plant, and Boston fern. You can even have solar panels installed on your roof, which will allow you to run your AC if the power goes out.
You can also invest in thermal pane windows, which reduce the amount of heat coming into your home. If you can’t do that, you can still avoid the heat by keeping blinds shut during the day. This stops sunlight from coming in and heating up your home. Keep the windows shut during the day to keep that hot air out. Only open them at night, when the air is cool.
Go to Public Cooled Places
If the power is out in your home, you don’t have to stay there if it gets too hot. Seek out the nearest public place that has power. Areas like malls, libraries and so on will have AC, and will be open to the public (socially distanced, of course). You can wait out the power outage there and stay safe until your power returns to your area.
Stock up on as many bottles of water as you can. It’s a good idea to buy empty bottles and fill them up from your faucets if you’re worried about the power going out during a heatwave. Keep some in your evacuation kit, in case there’s a wildfire in your area.
Drink plenty of water during the day, as staying hydrated will help you battle the heat. Avoid any caffeinated drinks or alcoholic drinks. They may feel refreshing, but will actually dehydrate you further.
If you’re dealing with a heatwave with no power, you don’t want to be heating your home up further by turning on the gas stove or oven. Choose to grill your meals outdoor in the shade, or eat meals that don’t require cooking. Salads and fruits are best, as they’re still filling and will help you keep cool, even without power. Avoid eating greasy or heavy foods, as your body will work harder to process them.
If you’re at home during the power outage, stay downstairs as much as you can. Heat rises, making the upstairs of your home hotter.
Know Where to Find Help
If you you know where to find help before a power outage hits, you’ll be ready in case it happens. Install the OSHA Heat Safety app on your phone, as this will indicate the heat index in your area. Keep a radio nearby, so you can listen to NOAA Weather Radio. They also have an app, which will let you know if there are any updates in your area. Buy a battery operated radio, so you can listen even if the power goes out.
Keep a Close Eye on Those at Risk
Babies, toddlers, pregnant and nursing mothers, people over 65 years old, and those with pre-existing heath conditions are all at risk during a heat wave. They’re the most vulnerable to heat related illnesses, so make sure you know the signs. If anyone begins to become ill, ensure you get help as soon as possible.
Now you know how to prepare for a power outage. Use these tips should you ever have to deal with a heat wave with no power. Get any needed supplies now, and make changes to your home and routine in case the power does go out. This way, you’ll keep you and your family safe.