Surviving a power outage
Millions of people are expected to lose power in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. With that in mind, we have put together some top tips for preparing for a storm beyond the basics of stocking up on canned food, water and batteries.
Before it hits
– Tidy your home. It will be much easier to locate necessary items if they are in the right place. It will also help avoid breaking things when you can’t see them in the dark.
– Stock up on firewood, candles, flashlights, non-perishable food items, water, batteries, and any other necessities you may not have around.
– Gather books, board games, art supplies and other forms of entertainment that do not require electricity.
– Charge your phones, games, iPad, portable DVD player – anything you may want to use during the storm, and locate car chargers.
– Plan in advance how you are going to communicate with family and friends – via phone, text, email or otherwise.
– Sign up for emergency text alerts from your city emergency centre and local utility companies.
– Pack a suitcase that includes everything you should need in case of evacuation (medication, clothes, etc.) so it is ready should you need it.
– Add bags of ice to your freezer to keep food cold longer should the power go out. If you have room, move the food in the fridge into the freezer to reduce loss.
– If you have a pet, be sure to stock up on pet supplies including food, litter, newspaper and puppy pads to reduce the odour and mess.
– Keep a camera handy at all times – while fun for capturing memories in the dark, it is also useful to document any damage to your home, car or other property.
In case of evacuation
– Leave your porch light on if you evacuate. It will allow friends or neighbours to notify you if your power is back on without having to enter your home.
– If you head to a friend’s house, bring all your fresh food to share. It will keep it from going to waste in your fridge while you are away.
– Ask for distress rates at local apartment buildings and hotels – while hotels will fill up fast during a storm, apartments in the area will often offer unadvertised discount rates during a storm.
– If a hotel is your likely choice for evacuation during the storm, check out your credit card and hotel points program balance in advance to see if you have enough points to cover a hotel, gas or flights.
– If heading to a hotel, bring an electric skillet or griddle, food and a cooler to allow for in-room cooking and avoid paying for expensive room service. Also, pack a swimsuit as most hotels have indoor pools – a great way to pass the time.
– Ask the hotel what their plan is for guests should the power go out. While some hotels will have power available throughout the entire building, others will have a generator that provides power to the guest rooms only, leaving the halls dark.
Sources: Huffington Post, AccuWeather