Preparing for a power outage

Preparing for a power outage can keep panic at bay when the weather is cold or stormy and the power goes out unexpectedly. If you have emergency items ready you will be able to ride out an outage in comfort. Whether you live in an area prone to outages or have a reliable connection, stock up on supplies now to avoid a crisis later.

Some of the ways that you can prepare for a power outage include:

Creating an emergency plan

Make sure that everyone in your house is aware of what to do when the power goes out and where supplies are located when they are needed. Keep your written plan in an easily accessible location and make sure everyone knows where to find it.

Assembling an emergency kit

Putting together an emergency kit, non-perishable food, and supplies for heating and communication. Be sure your family is familiar with the contents of the kit and where it is located.

Some of the supplies that should be included in your kit are:

  • Water
  • First-aid supplies
  • Flashlights/lanterns
  • Batteries
  • Cell phone battery back-up
  • Clock
  • Radio
  • Non-perishable food
  • A copy of your emergency plans
Cold weather plans

In the colder months think about how you will stay warm in the event of an electrical outage. Consider how you will stay warm if the power goes out. If you use a gas fireplace you may want to install a battery backup for the starter. If your heat is powered by a wood stove, stock up on firewood. Never use a propane heater inside your home unless it is one specifically designed for the indoors because carbon monoxide can build and create a deadly hazard.

Your pipes can freeze and burst in a power outage if they aren’t properly insulated. If you’re concerned about your pipes freezing, shut off the main water valve in your home and open all the faucets until the pipes are empty.

Other considerations

When preparing for a power outage, you should also consider your valuables. Be sure surge protectors are in place to protect electronics. Put battery-operated flashlights in a centralized location so you can reach them quickly, especially in the dark.

Make sure you have plenty of batteries in many different sizes for all emergency needs. From your flashlights and radios to clocks, appliances and smoke detectors batteries will be very important to make life easier.

Don’t forget to prepare your car. Always want to fill up the car gas tank when you are expecting a storm. Gas stations are powered by electricity, so if there’s no power, there’s no gas!

Lastly, but certainly not an afterthought, think about how you will prepare food without electricity. You can light a match to ignite a gas appliance. But if you have an electric stovetop and oven you will need to find an alternative way to cook.  A great substitute will be using a propane grill or an open fire outdoors. Stock up on propane or wood and make sure you have a manual can opener.

If you need help from a professional, but sure and contact Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing, and Electrical for your home maintenance needs.

Prepare for Power Outages with Standby Generators

 

imagesLosing your power is never something anyone wants, especially during the winter months. For some homeowners, a lapse in power is a minor annoyance while for others it can be life threatening. For this and a variety of other reasons, a generator may be a wise purchase for your home.

While you may already have a portable gasoline-powered generator (or have thought about getting one), you may want to consider upgrading. A standby generator can energize your home for days. This is especially useful during extended power outages.

A great option for big families, standby generators are especially beneficial for those with young children or elderly relatives who may rely on medical equipment run by electricity. When looking at sizes, remember that the higher the generator’s capacity, the more circuits it can power. Think about what you’ll need to power.

The standby generator is permanently installed in your yard and is connected directly to your home’s electrical panel. It is powered by an external fuel supply, such as liquid propane, natural gas, or diesel. When you lose power, an automatic switch will start the generator. When power comes back on, the switch shuts down the generator and reconnects your home to the grid. The switch prevents back-feeding electricity, which is unsafe and can start fires.

Look for a trustworthy professional to install yours. The person will need to assess your load needs based on what you’ll want to run electricity to and the starting wattage of appliances that rely on motors. The person will also assess all of the logistics. Keep in mind that you will need some space: it will need to be several feet away from home openings and flammable materials.

If you do end up using the generator, get it serviced if it runs for 24 or more hours continually. Check the engine oil daily while it is being used and run it at less than 75 percent of its rated capacity.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!