Electricity is something we take for granted. It not only regulates the temperature of our homes, gives light and cooks our food, but it connects us by cell phone and social media and helps us with everyday life whether we’re searching online for a new recipe or paying bills electronically. When we are suddenly without electricity for an extended amount of time, it can be a real shock. Preparing for a hurricane can help minimize the disasters that come with these storms including loss of electricity. Asbury has 24 hour emergency electricians that can help your home and family be ready for the hurricanes!
With Hurricane Florence barreling down on us bring saturating rain and gale winds, we could have trees and electric wires down and be without electricity for hours, days or weeks. Here are some things to consider when preparing for a hurricane & possible loss of electricity:
Food – Without electricity, the perishable food in your refrigerator will only last about 4 hours if you don’t open the door. If you freeze blocks of ice or ice cubes as preparation before a storm, this will help keep your perishables cold longer in ice chests, the refrigerator or freezer. It will also preserve your food longer if you freeze what you can before the storm. Milk, leftovers, and meats can be frozen. If you have more than one refrigerator or freezer, try to consolidate into fewer units. A full freezer will keep cold longer (about 48 hours).
Eat perishable food first before it spoils. If you want to stock up, buy canned or dry foods, anything that doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Don’t forget a manual can opener. If you need to cook, use a charcoal grill or camp stove, just not indoors.
Water – The standard is to have one gallon of drinkable water per person per day for 3-7 days. Some people fill their camping water jugs with tap water to avoid buying water. Remember you might still have running water, but it may not be potable. It can still be used for washing or flushing the toilet. You can fill the bathtub ahead of time for additional wash water. You may or may not have hot water depending on your equipment.
Toilets – Your toilets may still flush if they are gravity-based, but if they don’t, you can pour a bucket of water into the bowl and it will flush. If your system is based on an electrical system, it will eventually back up. If this is the case, you can hook up to a generator or find a different disposal method. (We used a bucket when camping.)
Phones – Your cell phone will work for a while if cell towers are not down, but it will eventually run out of battery. Having a portable charger will help for one charge. Landlines that are not wireless usually keep working, but if you have your phone numbers stored in your cell phone, you will need to have a hard copy of important numbers.
Keeping the kids occupied – If a hurricane has knocked out power for an extended period, the kids will get restless. Have some board games or card games available. Think through their toys to make sure they have low tech toys that don’t need to be recharged. Books, coloring books & crayons are good. You may need to get creative.
Generator – Depending on your situation and budget, a generator may be an excellent thing to have. Watch the wattage output and make sure you know how much you want to power, whether whole house or just the essentials. Asbury’s 24 hour emergency electricians service can help make sure your generator is ready for this hurricane season!
Emergency Savings – If you don’t already have an emergency saving account, think about setting one up. If you lose electricity, you may have unplanned expenses – cost of extra batteries, spoiled food to replace, gasoline for a generator, insurance deductible for house damages, etc. Preparing for a hurricane can be costly, but it can also save you and your families’ lives.
Remember, this is just the peak of the hurricane season which lasts until November 30. Everyone is at some risk, which is why preparing for a hurricane is so important. For more information refer to FEMA’s “How to Prepare for a Hurricane” publication https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1494007144395-b0e215ae1ba6ac1b556f084e190e5862/FEMA_2017_Hurricane_HTP_FINAL.pdf and be safe.