During this time of social distancing, we are continuing to work with clients, especially in the case of any electrical emergencies you may be experiencing.
One of the most common of these emergencies is power outages. In most cases, our work as part of the effort to restore your electricity comes after the local utility (GRU or Clay Electric) has done its work. Generally, our work in these situations occurs outside of the house.
Unfortunately, we are in the time of year when power outages are more common because most of the rain and wind we get this time of year comes from storms that are more intense. And with hurricane season right around the corner, there is a strong likelihood that will remain the case, whether or not we see any hurricanes or tropical storms in North Central Florida.
While power outages and blackouts can happen at any moment during the year, there may be no better time to think about whether you are prepared than June – the beginning of the hurricane season.
So, how exactly, can you prepare for power outages?
The first thing on your checklist should be flashlights and a supply of the right kind of batteries.
If your power outage occurs at night, a flashlight is crucial – especially if you do not have a home generator. And while in years past, people considered using candles in these situations, that is not recommended. If you have windows open, a strong gust of wind could create a fire hazard.
In trying to determine what kind of flashlight is best in an emergency, I recommend an LED model rather than incandescent. LED flashlight technology results in batteries lasting as much as six to 10 times longer than regular flashlights.
There may be other ways to keep your house lit during an emergency. One is with a round “puck” LED light that can easily fit inside cabinets, bathrooms and other areas in your home. Generally connected to a power source, these lights can also be battery operated.
And how many of you still have a portable radio? They are not something we generally consider with all the other options available to get information. However, most of those other options need an electrical power source that would not be available during an outage.
Finally, you should have a list of the things you would need if a storm is about to hit, and there is potential for losing power. Given the shopping that went on during the last few months, you may already have those things. But then again, with shortages, you may not. Those necessities should include water, appropriate food and medicines and whatever else you might require should you be without power or cut off for a few days. Be prepared to fill that list as best you can.
One last important tip – if the power goes out, unplug all your electrical appliances. Otherwise, you could be facing a power surge when the electricity comes back on. And in a future article, we will talk about partial outages that are isolated to a specific outlet, light or area of your home.