Power Outage Checklist
When your home loses power it’s not unusual to panic, but these tips will help you keep your cool — literally! If you have a whole house battery backup like the Tesla Powerwall or a home generator, losing power may not be an issue. But it’s still important to be prepared.
Protect Your Electronics
It’s easy to forget about your electronics when you can’t use them! But when the power comes back it can create a power surge which can damage anything that is plugged in. If you have a whole house surge protector, no further action is needed. We install whole house surge protectors to protect your expensive devices (like EV chargers, computers, etc.) against damage from electrical spikes that can cause them to fail over time. If you don’t have one installed, it’s good practice to unplug everything in your home until the power returns. Keep one light on so that you can tell when power has been restored.
If you predict a power outage is coming your way, charge up small power banks/ battery packs to keep your phone charged or power a small fan. If you find yourself in an outage and need a larger supply of power, we can install a home generator for you. If you’re curious about the difference between a generator or Powerwall, you can read this article, Batteries vs Generators: Keeping the Power On. Be sure to have flashlights on hand and check their battery strength at least twice a year.
Water safety can be an issue during outages. If you use well water, your well pump isn’t going to work without electricity. It’s always a good idea to have bottled water on hand since municipal water can be compromised as well. You can fill your bathtub with water if you anticipate this emergency. Don’t forget about clean water for your pets too!
When the power goes out in the middle of summer you need to be proactive to keep your home cool. Cover your windows with curtains or blankets and close your blinds to keep out the sun. Check for evening breezes and open up the windows to cool it down. Staying hydrated will help keep your body temperature regulated. Consider grilling your meals outside instead of heating up your home with your gas stove.
If it’s cold outside you want to keep as much heat in your home for as long as possible. Cover your windows with blankets and close curtains and blinds to keep out drafts. If multiple family members are home, spend time together in the same room. The body heat will keep you warm, especially if you can close the door to the room to retain the heat. Bundle up with blankets and sleeping bags and if the outage lasts overnight, consider an old-fashioned slumber party. You can also stay warmer by keeping your head and feet covered. If you anticipate power outages in the winter, keep your beanies and socks on-hand with your flashlights and other power outage gear.
When you lose power you risk food spoilage. To help your food stay chilled, open the doors of your refrigerator and freezers as little as possible. If you’ve got ice packs, use them to keep your food chilled in an ice chest. Empty milk jugs filled with water and frozen for this purpose work great and provide future drinking water! Keep a thermometer in your fridge and freezer to monitor the temperature. Your refrigerator should be at or below 40 degrees and your freezer should be at or below zero. When in doubt, throw it out. Eating food that hasn’t been kept at the proper temperature can harbor dangerous bacteria and isn’t worth the risk. Want to be sure you’re fed during an outage? Keep a three-day supply of non-perishable food like cans and dried fruit. Don’t forget to keep a manual can opener on hand for this too!
While no preparation can guarantee a perfect outcome during a power outage, a whole house battery used with your solar panels provides the best opportunity for a seamless transition of power during an outage. There are multiple tax incentives, rebates and financing that can make this energy independence a reality for you. When you contact us a qualified technician will walk you through your options and design an energy plan that fits your needs.