The old and popular adage, “We only know what we’ve got when it’s gone,” rings especially true for when we don’t have electricity. We only become aware of how much our day-to-day living relies on electricity when a power cut catches us unawares, and outages can and do happen. There’s nothing worse than a power outage when you’re underprepared for it, so we’ve put together some useful tips on how to prepare for a power cut, ensuring you can live comfortably when the power’s temporarily out.
Emergency supplies of necessities such as water and food can go a long way, especially when your refrigerator and electric stove stop working. It goes without saying that you should always have alternative lighting, such as candles, torches, fuel or lumber, easily accessible for those dark, power-less nights.
Cooking alternatives such as outdoor BBQ grills should be ready with charcoal or gas.
Most food appliances rely on electricity, and food spoilage will happen when your fridge stops running. To delay this, keep your refrigerator doors closed – only open them when absolutely necessary. Fridge temperatures will stay cool for about 4 hours, and if the power’s not back by then, place some ice in the freezer to keep the temperature down for longer. Have chilly bins or cooler containers handy for when you the fridge starts to warm up, and consume perishable food such as meat within 24 hours.
During power outages, eftpos terminals and ATMs won’t work, so an ‘emergency cash fund’ will come in handy when you find yourself needing to purchase essentials and extra supplies from the dairy or a market.
Don’t skimp on safety and emergency medicine – power outages are likely to happen during extreme weather conditions or rare calamities. You never know what kind of unexpected injuries you’ll have to give emergency care for, so keep general first aid items handy at all times. Essential items you should include in your first-aid kit are: latex gloves, dressings and bandages, thermometers, ointments, pain relief and prescription medication. If anyone in the family relies on medical equipment, contact 111 immediately or head to your nearest hospital.
You won’t be able to rely on TVs or gaming consoles when there’s no electricity to run them. Old-school entertainment systems such as a pack of cards, board games and musical instruments will help pass the time comfortably for the whole household.
Always keep batteries and portable chargers handy. Torches and portable radios will need batteries, and your phone will be essential for contacting family and friends during power cuts. If you have a generator, make sure this is constantly maintained and charged, and is stored and operated safely.
Preparing for a power cut can be easy with these simple tips. Watch out for important alerts or updates from your power company, as most of the time they will let you know if there’s an expected power cut. Compare power companies with glimp’s free tool to ensure you’re with the most reliable power company in your neighbourhood and get the best power deals!
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