Severe winter conditions are blasting the country with snow and sleet. Power outages rippled across the U.S. recently, leaving millions of Americans without power or water. Many seek preparation plans to protect themselves from natural disasters in times like these.
Buying a portable generator is an excellent way to prepare for power outages. These helpful devices will keep things running when needed, but you must take a few precautions. Tap or click here to choose the best generator for your situation.
No matter the time of year, you should always have a backup plan if you lose power for a couple of hours or days. Consider this your storm survival guide.
Step 1: Get the supplies you need
When you’re crafting your backup plan, you need high-quality tools at your disposal. The number one gadget you need is a flashlight to help you see.
You should also invest in a battery-powered portable radio. Here’s our recommendation:
Of course, now that we’re in the 21st century, we’re not limited to the bare essentials. For instance, if you know bad weather is possible, make sure your phones, tablets, laptops, rechargeable flashlights and portable battery chargers are charged.
Beyond hand-held chargers, consider investing in a larger power station from brands like Anker and Jackery, which can charge phones multiple times. Add an uninterruptible power supply, or UPS, to your modem, router, and home office. A UPS battery doesn’t last long, but they’re great at keeping you online when it counts.
If you have a bit more to spend, try this powerhouse.
If you’re willing to drop half a thousand on a power bank, we recommend Jackery’s Explorer 500. It’s the best powerhouse money can buy.
While these tech goodies can help protect yourself, don’t forget first-aid supplies. You should also have drinking water and canned food stored. Remember: Good supplies make a world of improvement during a natural disaster.
Step 2: Turn on phone alerts
Now that you have everything you need in case of disaster, let’s make sure you get a heads-up whenever storms start rolling in. Phone alerts ensure you’re never taken by surprise.
Luckily, you’ll always receive messages from the national wireless alert system, regardless of your phone’s notification settings. But you can also turn your phone into a live police and emergency scanner. With this trick, you can get advanced warnings for any drastic changes in your environment.
If that’s not your style, hundreds of mobile apps are designed to keep you informed about your surroundings. They cover anything, from the length of your morning commute to your finances. Here are seven tools designed to keep you safe.
Step 3: Cross out your checklist
According to ready.gov, you should take an inventory of all the items in your home that rely on electricity. We also recommend asking yourself these questions:
- Do I have any medical devices that require electricity? If so, talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan.
- How many batteries will I need if the power goes out? Buy as many as you need and invest in a good battery organizer.
- Will my home phone work during a power outage? If not, find out how long the battery backup will last.
- Do I have enough supplies to last a month? You’ll need non-perishable foods, water and cleaning supplies like soap and hand sanitizer.
This may sound overwhelming. If you don’t have the cash to drop on expensive supplies, remember that you don’t have to buy everything now. Slowly build up essential supplies over time, and you’ll soon develop a cache of items to help weather the storm.
Step 4: Stay safe when disaster strikes
Now that you’re prepared for anything, here’s what to do amid a power outage. First, keep freezers and refrigerators closed. A freezer will maintain its temperature for about 48 hours, but opening the door will shrink that time frame.
Earlier, you learned about the best generators you can buy. Ensure you only use them outside and keep them far away from the windows. Otherwise, you could die of carbon monoxide poisoning.
For this reason, you should never use a gas stove or an oven to heat your home. If you’re freezing cold, go to a community center with power. You should also turn off or disconnect electronics because power may return in momentary spikes that damage your devices.
Speaking of taking care of your tech, let’s examine how your tech can take care of you. There are a ton of apps that can help you in the middle of an emergency. Tap or click here for the best disaster apps.
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