4 tips to prepare for extended power outages

(HIB) – In the year 2018, it’s very easy to take your home’s power for granted. You flick the light switch and the lights come on. Same with the television and the microwave. It’s easy. And should a storm knock the power out, you expect that it will be up again in a matter of minutes or hours.

Oftentimes this is true, but believing this will always be the case is a mistake. Because while the nation’s reliance on its power system is greater than ever before, the threats facing it have grown as well.

According to the National Centers for Environmental Information, the U.S. suffered 16 weather-/climate-related disasters resulting in more than $1 billion in damages each during 2017. Droughts, hurricanes, floods, freezes and wildfires ravaged different portions of the country, and for the people living in those areas, it meant going without power for an extended period of time, or worse, losing their homes.

It’s impossible to predict when the next major weather event or disaster may strike, so now is the perfect time to begin preparing your home and family for such an event. To prep for the worst, keep these four tips in mind.

Stay in touch. During a power outage, it’s important to stay in the know about current weather conditions, road reports and emergency instructions. A battery-powered radio can keep you connected to local authorities and reports, so keep one stashed away and make sure you have extra batteries on hand. Also, purchase a portable charger to keep your cell phones up and running to communicate with family, friends and neighbors.

Set up your own temporary power. The longer a power outage lasts, the more potentially dangerous it is for your family and home. That’s why it’s a good idea to invest in an automatic standby generator that permanently connects to your home and turns on automatically when power is lost. Look for an automatic standby generator, like those available from KOHLER, that features fast start-up speeds, has a commercial-grade engine to handle heavy workloads, provides high-quality power and is durable enough to withstand the weather disaster going on around you. KOHLER has generators that can withstand wind speeds of up to 181 mph.

Stockpile non-perishable food. A refrigerator will keep food cold for approximately four hours if the door remains closed during a power outage. Don’t chance it. Stock up on non-perishable canned goods, protein bars, beef jerky and other food items with an extended shelf life. And don’t forget about bottled water.

Climate control. Extreme heat in the summer and freezing temperatures in the winter are not only uncomfortable, but can be very dangerous. Should your home’s power fail during the winter, staying warm suddenly jumps to the top of your concerns. Be prepared by stocking up on warm blankets, sleeping bags or purchasing a portable, non-electric space heater that is properly vented. If you lose power during the summer months, retreat to a cool place like a basement, take a cold shower, drink a lot of cold water and consider purchasing a battery-operated fan. To ensure your HVAC system is fully operational during a power outage, consider installing an automatic standby generator.

Start your planning today

The idea of your home being in the path of a natural disaster is a terrifying thought, but a plausible one. That’s why it’s important you start planning today. Last year showed a dramatic increase in total weather damage and no one knows what 2018 will hold. If you wait until the disaster strikes, it may be too late. But if you take action now, you can enjoy the peace of mind that you’re ready for whatever Mother Nature delivers.

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