Friday, August 5, 2011

Preparing for an electrical blackout

Veterans and military personnel are trained to always be ready. But sometimes the forget the homefront. Whether you are overseas or at your home base, your family needs to be ready for things like electrical blackouts. They happen in any season due to rains, wind, hail, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, or just a good old fashioned thunder storm. It takes just a little planning to "weather" this annoying event.

First, let's talk about what this article is about. Short, temporary electrical blackouts lasting less than a day or maybe a little longer. If you know the electricity will be out longer, you will probably need to do some other planning as to where to live temporarily.

For some reason, blackouts happen at night. Maybe they don't, but it sure seems like it. Suddenly you are left in the dark. Having easy access to a light source that works is the first thing to ready. Having a flashlight next to every bed in your house is a great idea. But, you should also have a flashlight very handy in the family gathering area of the kitchen.

These flashlights will allow you to make the best of your situation. The flashlights will guide you to things you can also get for light. Candles are the option everyone seems to go for. So have a few candles handy that can be safely lit and burned. Along with a supply of matches or lighter.

Here are two other great light sources when the power goes out. A camping lantern. Camping lanterns burn very, very bright. Have this handy in the garage. Another source that is never thought of is solar lights in the garden and around your house. If it is safe to go outside, you can easily pluck these out of the ground for another light source. These two light sources do not have the danger of lighting a fire.

Your cellphone can also be used as a quick flashlight.

After light, the main thing about electrical blackouts is your refrigerator. For blackouts less than 24 hours, it should be no problem. Your freezer should keep most things frozen. But, if your meat thaws, it is best to cook it as soon as possible and not refreeze it. As far as the refrigerator part, this can be solved with a little planning. Your refrigerator is well insulated like a super ice chest. You can use it as such. Buy a few large blue ice blocks that you also use for ice chests and camping. Keep these in your freezer. When the power goes out, you can take one or two and put it in your refrigerator to keep everything cold. Safety first. If something that can spoil looks or smells bad, toss it out. But for less than 24 hours, using the above advice, it should be no problem. You can always keep a thermometer in your fridge to check the temperature.

If the roads are safe and stores are open nearby, you can get ice cubes and use your ice chest for stuff that really needs to be kept very cold.

Your telephone does not run on the electrical line, so most of the time your phone still works.

As far as cooking goes, you can always use your outdoor barbecue.

If your stove top is gas, you should be able to light it with a match or lighter. Be safe. Know how to do it right.

Keep a radio with batteries handy for news and entertainment. You can also get a wind up radio.

With light and food, most people can make it through a temporary electrical blackout.

Be safe at all times.

If your area is prone to electrical blackouts lasting longer than 24 hours, you really should check out: Information on backup power generators.

>>Money tips for military families.


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