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Are You Prepared For a Power Outage?

Are You Prepared For a Power Outage? With areas of our country having what seems to be a major increase Natural Disasters it is only a matter of time before you will have a power outage and you can bet it will not be at a perfect time. I wanted to write to you today in hopes we can show you the overall importance of having a Black Out Kit or Power Outage Kit in your home. Florida has been dealt with more than it’s far share of Hurricanes, Mid West With Tornado and Flooding, California with Earthquakes and Mud Slides and up the Eastern Sea Board storms and flooding all in 2017 and each time many of these survivors have had to deal with major power outages; some lasting for days / weeks on end. What would you do if the power went out in the middle of dinner or family time? Do you know where your Black Out Box / Power Outage Box is and can you or any member of your family be able to get to it? I am not talking about the fuse box, but the emergency prepared box that contains emergency supplies for lighting.The Black Out Box or new age terminology: Power Outage Box is a specific box that contains Emergency Supplies for illumination. This box does not contain food or other emergency supplies that you would normally put in a Disaster Preparedness Home Kit. This list shown below are the basics for a Power Outage Kit. The addendum below it contains additional items you wanted to add as well.

Basic Home Power Outage Kit List:

Flash Light – One for each member of the family. They make great hand crank flash lights too that are very reasonable now days . Extra Batteries for those lights. Try to get the same type flash light so you have the same size batteries.

Head Lamps & Extra Batteries – At least one as this makes things much easier if you have to carry things or someone to a safer location

Lantern - Battery style with extra batteries. * This is the exact Lantern I have for my family - The Coleman® Floating Krypton battery operated Lantern could be a real savior during a severe rain storm. This compact battery powered lantern is so watertight, it actually floats. The 9" tall lantern receives a "Silver" rating from Coleman based on run time and brightness. The lamp runs up to 14 hours on 4 D-cell alkaline batteries Other great examples are: Glow Sticks - There are very helpful; last for hours so you don’t have to waste your flash light batteries. You can get them at most any Dollar Store around October (Halloween). I purchased a 4 pack of glow sticks for $1 and stocked up. More expensive versions will last longer and may be brighter but you will pay top dollar for them.

Lighter – Have several cheap lighters just in case you have to light a candle or light the fire place logs or start a fire outdoors fr cooking and / or warmth.

Candles – Today, this is discouraged, but in my days we always had emergency long life candles or votive candles lying around. Most people will pack emergency candles but forget to pack candle holders. You can generally get cheap candles from the thrift store or dollar store but remember to also get candle holders.

(REMEMBER TO USE CAUTION WITH AN OPEN FLAME IN A HOME). Games - Playing Cards/ Dice / Board Game like: Trivial Pursuit to occupy time

Knife – Always keep a folding knife in an emergency kit;

Multiple Uses. Extra Fuse – Some people that know how to swap out a fuse will some times add extra fuses in their Power Outage Box. If you live in an old home with screw in type fuses, it is always a good item to have several of those in your kit.

Weather / Emergency Radio – It is a good idea to have a hand crank emergency Radio / Weather Radio. They normally run between $45 & Up dollars for a inexpensive one. Amazon: Emergency Contact Number- it is a good idea to have not only your relatives emergency contact numbers but also the Power Company, Gas Company, Cable Company, Neighborhood Watch Captain, Fire Department and Local Law Enforcement where you live Lastly, make sure you spend the money and get some Glow In The Dark Tape and write on it Power Outage / Black Out Kit so when the power goes off you will find you bag, box or kit more easily.

Lastly, it is vital to have a kit in the main part of the house, Hall Closet, Laundry Room, Living room Closet, etc. and each member of the family know where it is and how to use everything in it. It is also important if you have a home with multiple floors,

Basement, Main Floor & Upstairs, to have a kit on each floor. The last things you will need is to trip or fall and seriously injury yourself while trying to get to your kit.

Addendum: Some people, like to add a few things in their kit that deal with their fair share of regular power outages. Where I live we lose power 3-4 times each winter.

Added suggested items would be: Can Opener (Manual) – because if the power is out how can you open food cans.Extra Blankets – for those cold winter months and there is no power, thus no heat

Hand Warmers – Winter Months

Cooling Towels – Summer Months

Some people way want to add a Coleman Lantern & Stove but remember to always use out doors due to fuel fumes when burning.

READY.Gov has some added helpful tips for a Power Outage During a Power Outage: Safety Tips

Only use flashlights for emergency lighting, candles can cause fires.

  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. For more information about food safety visit our food page.

  • Take steps to remain cool if it is hot outside. In intense heat when the power may be off for a long time, consider going to a movie theater, shopping mall or “cooling shelter” that may be open in your community. If you remain at home, move to the lowest level of your home, since cool air falls. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty.

  • Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Never use your oven as a source of heat. If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location (the home of a relative or friend, or a public facility) that has heat to keep warm.

  • Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power “surge” that can damage computers and other devices. Consider adding surge protectors.

  • If you are considering purchasing a generator for your home, consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing.

  • Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home's electrical system.

After a Power OutageThrow away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40° F (4° C) for 2 hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out!

  • If food in the freezer is colder than 40° F and has ice crystals on it, you can refreeze it.

  • Contact your doctor if you’re concerned about medications having spoiled.

  • Restock your emergency kit with fresh batteries, canned foods and other supplies

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