Are you Prepared for a power blackout?
Getting ready for an electrical failure or power outage is simple and quick with our handy checklist.
1. Have a basic power emergency plan
An emergency power outage usually only lasts a few hours. But you should have an idea of what to do. So ask a few basic questions around a power failure:
- Where are important items such as keys and wallets placed? Could you find them in the dark?
- Where are the emergency items such as torches and candles kept? Can they be found in the dark?
- Do you run a security system? Is its battery system working? Will your security company call you if the power goes out? What is supposed to happen?
- Do you use any electric or electronic doors, such as a automatic garage door? Do you know how to switch to to manual?
- Is there anything vital that needs power or charging, such as medical equipment or computers? Do you have a way to keep that going?
- Do you know where to check or who to call if you need information on the power outage? In some places this may be as easy as to follow a Twitter account.
Just take a moment and imagine you have no power (or, if you can, cut the power and see what becomes a problem).
2. Stock Candles and matches
When humans first banished the darkness, they did it with the help of fire. Those must have been interesting days. You could settle for the ancient Greek tale that Prometheus gave it to us with a torch lit from the sun, or you can wonder about the early fire pioneers: people capturing flames from forest fires, eventually figuring out how to start a flame themselves. Either way, humans have walked a long journey with fire. Candles and matches are key for an emergency power outage. Unlike a torch, neither need to be charged. But we all know this – we just all forget to buy them. So add it to the shopping list in big, bold letters and stick them in the back of the cupboard.
3. Invest in a generator
A generator is a mini power station. Even at short bursts, it gives more than enough power to charge equipment, keep appliances running and catch a breath when the power goes out. It is even feasible and affordable to install a silent and fixed – permanent – generator that can comfortably carry the critical power requirements of a home or business, avoiding money loss. Speak to the experts at Generator Warehouse to find the right fit.
4. Buy a few LED torches
Modern torches use LED lights. Their batteries last longer, they can be built to be smaller and they are a lot cheaper – perfect for unexpected loadshedding. Some require batteries and others have batteries built in. Many come with hooks or magnets so you can pop them on a convenient spot, such as a fridge door. You’re spoilt for choice and price, so get a few.
5. Plan for your gadgets
Laptops or smartphones that run out of power can feel worse than not having candles or a torch. A good power bank will charge a phone or tablet properly at least once. More traditional batteries for torches are also good to keep around. Alkaline and Lithium batteries can be stored (unused) for three years or longer, providing it’s a cool (not freezing) spot. If a battery starts leaking, don’t use it.
To power computers during an emergency power outage, consider buying a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply). A UPS is not really to keep using the machine. It just ensures you have time to save your work and shut down anything important. It can also protect the computers from any spikes coming through the electric grid.