Prepare for Power Outages

All it takes is one wild, unexpected storm to turn life upside-down in a hurry. Some of us lost power shortly before Christmas, and after one cold night, many of us were looking for ways to warm up fast. 

Winter storms can be especially dangerous, as we saw when temperatures plunged in Texas, threatening the lives and health of millions of people. Sometimes a brief, localized summer thunderstorm can knock out power. I can still see in my mind’s eye the unfortunate squirrel that took out power on my block for several hours some time ago. 

While we usually can’t prevent a power outage, we can prepare how we deal with it. If your power suddenly goes out and doesn’t come back up shortly, report it to your local power company. If you’re curious what they’ll do when they have an outage, check out instructions and this short safety video on the Frost Benco site:

But even more important, consider your personal safety, and make plans now to be prepared. Pay attention to weather reports to prepare in advance. Make sure you can communicate with neighbors or family, and know what your community offers, such as sheltering at a heated (or cooled) community center. Check batteries, have flashlights ready, and have medications, water and food on hand for a few days. Check again when seasons change. 

The American Red Cross has an excellent checklist for Power Outage Safety, with recommendations for before, during, and after an outage. Be sure to scroll down to Resources, where you can download and print the Safety Checklist and load the Free Emergency App for your phone.

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