Are you and those you live with prepared in case the power goes out? Is your home set up in such a way as to protect you from the elements if there’s no heat or air conditioning available for an extended period of time? Do you have the tools you need to see and stay warm if the lights go out?

Let’s take a look at 10 important things you should do if the power goes out, and hopefully, you’ll also gain some insight into what you can do to prepare beforehand.

1. Get Your ‘Lights Out’ Box 

A “lights out” box is one in which you’ve hopefully got batteries, an emergency radio, flashlights, and possibly even matches stored.

All of these can be used to help you see when the power is out and call for help if needed. Store your “lights out” storage box in the same place each time and keep it where you can find it easily in the dark. 

2. Fill Up Your Sinks and Tubs

If the power outage ends up lasting a long time, you may be without clean water systems for a while. To avoid this, fill up all your sinks and tubs with fresh water as soon as the power goes out. As soon as the power goes back on, you’ll be able to safely drink any water that comes from the taps. 

3. Unplug Your Electronic Devices

When the power goes out, it’s important that you unplug all of your devices including cell phones, computers, printers, laptops, gaming systems, etc. Doing so will protect all of your sensitive electronic products from a power surge once the power comes back on. 

4. Head Outside to Check Things Out

Once the power goes out, head outside and scan the surrounding neighborhood to see if you can determine how widespread the outage is and whether or not all your neighbors have been affected. It’s possible that some of your neighbors may be unaffected. This is important to know in case the outage goes on for a long time and you need to seek the help of those around you.

Take the time to check on your elderly neighbors who might not be prepared for the outage. Make sure they have food, water, a flashlight, and plenty of blankets if the weather is cold. 

5. Call the Power Company After the Power Goes Out

Call the power company to get an update and reason for the power outage. The power company will usually have a recording giving you an estimated time for power restoration. Keep in mind that this recording won’t be up immediately, so give it about 15 minutes before the call. 

6. Keep Your Refrigerator and Freezer Closed

If your power goes out when it’s warm or hot outside, you’ll want to keep the food in your fridge and freezer preserved. Avoid opening the doors of your fridge except to grab something to eat.

The food in your fridge will stay cool for about 4 hours without power and the food in your freezer is good only for a while after it’s thawed. Of course, if it’s winter outside and there’s snow on the ground, you can always preserve food outdoors in the meantime if needed. 

7. Close the Doors to Unused Rooms

If it’s cold outside, cover all your windows with extra blankets to trap the heat indoors and close the doors to rooms you don’t need to access.

You might also want to stuff towels underneath doors to keep heat from escaping or cold air from entering other areas. Huddle together in a small room as a family and use body heat to keep a smaller space as warm as possible.

8. Bring Pets Indoors and Lock all Doors and Windows

Bring your pets indoors following a power outage so you can keep a close eye on them. Make sure you also lock all your doors and keep your house secure.

Unfortunately, there are people who try to take advantage of power outages and use them as an opportunity to break into people’s homes, so be aware. 

9. Keep Your Device Charged

Though you won’t be able to use a regular outlet to keep your electronic devices charged, you can make use of a car charger or, hopefully, if you have one, a solar device charger. This way you can keep in contact with your relatives, friends, or emergency help if needed. 

10. Make Use of Your Portable Generator

Portable generators are very useful tools in the case of a power outage, especially if the outage is expected to go on for a long time.

Make sure you never run your generator indoors since the fumes are dangerous. Your generator can keep one large appliance running at a time. If you don’t yet have a generator, you might want to look into generators for sale diesel in particular. 

Prepare Yourself for a Power Outage

Reading over this list of what you should do if the power goes out might have you wondering if you’re fully prepared for the unexpected. If you think there are some things you need to do to get ready for an emergency, there’s no time like the present! A power outage or other disaster can strike when you least expect it. 

Check out the other helpful articles we have on how to create a home that is safe, energy-efficient, beautiful, and unique. Your house is your haven and we want to help you make coming home the best part of your day.