While coastal Virginia has had a bit of a reprieve from hurricanes so far this season, we are not out of the danger zone just yet. When hurricanes blow through, there are often widespread power outages. A mix of our high summer temps plus coastal Virginia’s humidity is important to consider when there’s a possibility of a power outage.
Preparing for Possible Power Outages
When you know a hurricane or storm is on the way, you can take steps to be better prepared for these situations.
- Think about what electrics you depend on. For example, if you don’t have a generator to power your kitchen lights, you’ll want to have flashlights on hand. Check to see if your flashlights still have working batteries, and buy spare batteries as a backup. With the summer heat, you’ll want to consider purchasing a battery powered fan to help ventilate air and to keep you cooled.
- Keep your cell phones charged, and think about purchasing a portable charger or power bank in case the power is out longer than expected.
- Prior to the storm, check on your neighbors to see if they need anything.
- If you use medical devices that require power, speak with your doctor ahead of time to prepare.
- Go to the grocery store to pick up nonperishable food items and water. Even if you do not open your fridge, it still only stays cold for so long.
- Purchase a carbon monoxide detector that has a battery backup, and install it beforehand. Carbon monoxide related incidents and deaths rise during power outages. Keep yourself and your family members safe knowing CO levels are being monitored.
- Find out where available resources or shelters are in your community in case the power is out longer than expected.
- If your power is out, your internet could possibly go out also. Make sure you sign up for phone weather alerts or have a portable radio to listen to for updates.
During a Power Outage
Whether it’s an expected outage from an approaching storm or a surprise outage, here are a few things you’ll want to do during one.
- Check on your neighbors. Summer heat especially affects older adults and young children.
- Try to stay cool by continuing to hydrate with water, close the doors of the hottest rooms in the house, and close the blinds to keep the sun from heating up your home.
- If you live in a two story home, consider sleeping downstairs as heat rises.
- Unplug appliances in case of electrical surges to avoid possible damage.
- Keep your fridge and freezer closed! Your refrigerator can maintain temperatures for about four hours, and freezer temperatures will keep for 48.
- If you have a portable generator, be sure to use it at least 20 feet away from your home.
After The Power Comes Back On
- Depending on how long the power was out (even if you didn’t open the refrigerator), go ahead and toss food that has an odor or is discolored. Stay on the safe side and toss it out if you’re unsure if it’s good or not.
- If there was anything you realized you didn’t have but needed or rather wish you could’ve had during the outage, add it to a list and go ahead and stock up on the item if it makes sense for you and your family.
Take a look here if you’re interested in buying a whole-home generator in preparation for storm season. Contact us, and we’ll be happy to discuss options and the benefits these generators provide. Stay safe this hurricane season!