How to Cope with a Power Outage
Updated: Dec 31, 2020
Severe weather doesn’t take a season off. In fact, high winds, heavy precipitation, and lightning strikes can occur any time of year and bring about a slew of problems, including car accidents, downed trees, and – most commonly – power outages.
Here are just some of the troubles that arise during one and how to safely resolve each situation.
No A/C or Fans – Anything requiring electricity stops working when the power shuts down, including your air conditioner and fans. As temps rise, so does the risk of dehydration and heat stroke. Encourage family members to drink plenty of water, keep curtains and shades drawn to help keep your house cool, and open doors and windows at dusk to let in cooling breezes.
No Heat Source – During cold weather months, furnaces, boilers, and electric space heaters can all stop working, leaving you cold and putting your water pipes at risk of freezing. Keep warm by wearing layers of clothing and open faucets even a little to allow water to flow – as a rule, moving water can’t freeze. Never use kerosene heaters, camping stoves, or grills indoors as they can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
Water Worries – If you have an electric water heater, you’ll have to go without hot water until the power returns. If you have well water, the pump may stop working, leaving you without fresh drinking water. Stock up on bottled water before the storm, but don’t wait until the last minute as the only thing you’ll be likely to find are empty shelves.
Fresh Food – Avoid opening the fridge and freezer as much as possible during an outage. Most refrigerated food can stay fresh in a closed fridge for up to 24 hours, while frozen food can stay frozen for up to 36 hours. Carefully examine all food for spoilage before consuming – when in doubt, throw it out.
No Phones – Keep your cell phone charged so, in case of an outage, you can maintain contact with the outside world. Consider investing in a solar backup charger to relieve the worry of an extended outage.
The heating and cooling professionals at GBT also recommend cutting off power to your furnace and central AC systems as soon as power is lost. If not, they too can be severely damaged or even destroyed by a power surge.
In the meantime, contact us for heating or cooling system maintenance to help keep them working at peak performance.