Enduring a power outage can be frustrating, to say the least, so here are five seemingly simple tips to follow if, say #lbPWRout3 were to happen. But let's hope these recent incidents don't turn into a full-blown saga.
Preserve Perishable Food Items
In a case like the three-day power outage thousands of residents experienced during the first #lbPWRout, moving perishable goods to a friend’s fridge or dragging a few coolers out of the garage may just save your food supply. According to Southern California Edison (SCE), for an outage that is likely to last longer than two hours, refrigerated milk, dairy products, meats, fish, poultry, eggs and leftovers can be packed into a cooler surrounded by ice, while a separate cooler can be packed with frozen items.
Keep in mind, perishable foods should not be kept above 40 degrees for more than two hours.
Protect Your Appliances
While perishable food is fairly easy to replace with an extra trip to Trader Joe’s, your appliances are another story altogether. Avoid losing expensive equipment like computers, televisions, washers, dryers, air conditioners, game consoles, fans, and lights by unplugging each and everyone of ‘em when the power goes out. If a power surge occurs when electricity is restored, if plugged in, your appliances may or may not be able to live through the situation.
SCE suggests leaving one light plugged in and switched on so you’ll know when power returns.
Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
The American Red Cross warns strongly against using a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning device inside your home, garage, basement or any enclosed, or partially enclosed area. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a primary hazard to avoid during a power outage because it can often occur when alternate sources for electricity are used.
For more information about carbon dioxide poisoning, click here.
Stay Hydrated and Drink Water Safely
Staying hydrated during a power outage can be tricky, especially if it’s hot outside. Check with local authorities to make sure the city’s water is safe to drink and use only bottled, boiled or treated water until you know it is.
The CDC recommends avoiding heat stroke (the most serious heat illness) at all costs by drinking a glass of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes and at least one gallon every day. Frequent cool showers, avoiding alcohol and caffeine and wearing light, loose-fitting clothing to avoid heat stress.
Click here for more detailed instructions on how to disinfect water if it’s in question and how to stay hydrated in extreme heat.
Use a Flashlight
Feeling around in the dark is frustrating, so if you must have light, please use a flashlight, not a candle. As mood-setting and exciting as the prospect may be, you run the risk of ruining your romantic night-in very quickly when you bring a burning flame into the situation, and no, we’re not talking about the sexy kind. Let that fire burn from within, not through the walls of your apartment.