Power outages remind us how severely dependent we have become on electricity every moment of our life. Cities, especially, are hit the hardest.
Sometimes the outage lasts for several hours, which does not cause more than some minor problems. But panic spreads and it becomes a disaster when the power cannot be restored for days.
Most of the precautions and safety measures are for the first types of outage because we cannot survive with backup power and other measures for more than one or two days after that, things start getting out of control.
One can very well figure out the most essential safety measures if they just turn the main power switch off and create an artificial power outage for a while.
There can be typically two principal power sources: the sun and the battery.
A number of modern battery chargers have solar energy sources as an alternative. There are also solar panels that can be installed on the roof that provide energy that surely can reduce our dependence on electricity. It may not be always sufficient, but something is better than nothing.
The second sources, batteries, are limited and can very well be used during outages that last for several hours. Despite the limited time frame you have with them, they save us from going back to a thousand-year-old lifestyle.
One important information on the primary battery usage is that alkaline batteries have a higher energy density and longer shelf life compared to the conventional zinc-carbon batteries. In the USA, most people (about 80%) use alkaline batteries. In other parts of the world, however, it’s comparatively less known and used.
You can also install a generator or an IPS (Instant Power Supply) for a consistent power supply for some hours.
The best practice is to contact a professional electrician who could suggest the best alternative power source for you in your area and what you could do in such a situation. Electricians Minneapolis, for example, are always ready to serve you and guide you.
There are a wide variety of ways to light your home during such a crisis, including flashlights, headlamps, candles, kerosene oil lamps, propane lamps, battery-powered lights, rechargeable lights (here, you can use the solar-powered recharger), solar indoor lamps, and glow sticks.
The general rule is to keep the cool things cool and hot things hot as long as possible. Experts say that your refrigerator can keep your food safe for at best 4 hours, provided that you don’t open the door frequently. After 4 hours, you need to discard perishable foods like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers.
A freezer, however, will keep your food safe for 48 hours.
Dry ice is another support. To keep an 18 cubic foot full freezer for roughly 48 hours alive, you need fifty pounds of dry ice.
The best practice is to store enough canned or packaged food in your pantry as it lasts far longer without having to freeze them. Here is detailed and charted information.
There are a good many ways to cook your food without electricity.
Most solar cookers are foldable and lightweight, making them handy for both camping trips and emergencies like power outages. You can cook your food up to a surprising 2250F using this method.
Small and efficient, rocket stoves are particularly helpful when you are low on fire-starting supplies. It uses very little fuel. The vertical chimney attached to the chamber throws the hit straightway upwards to the top surface. The most important feature about this type of stove is that anyone can build up a makeshift rocket stove out of cans.
The most primitive, yet the easiest way of cooking, one would only find the hazards of collecting firewood and the smoke while doing the open fire cooking. You can place the skillets and pans directly over the burning embers, or you can use grills for a smoother and fine-tuned heat under the pans.
Folding Steel Stove
Measuring only 6 inches by 6 inches, they can hold large pots and boil water in less than half an hour. It folds flat and can be taken anywhere. They operate on canned fuel. These stoves can offer you a warm meal within a short time.
The most prominent feature is that you can boil water or make quick soup or stew with this kettle. It’s really handy during an emergency. You can use any of the natural fuel under the kettle. During the dull, hard days of power outages, there is always a chance of drinking contaminated water, and these kettles can save you from that risk.
Instead of an electric igniter, conventional match sticks are far smarter in any condition to start cooking using all the above methods.
Always Be Prepared
- Make sure your freezers are at or below zero degrees.
- Make some ice to use after there is a real power outage.
- Get the contact number of the local dry ice supplier.
- Keep your rechargeable batteries, electric lamps, and necessary devices fully charged.
- Routinely check your backup power systems like the generator or IPS, and get yourself enough fuel for the generator. For a longer power outage, there may be a shortage of fuel after the first week.
During the Outage
- Do not use a gas stove in your room.
- Keep freezers and refrigerators closed.
- Use your generator outdoors and away from your windows.
- Disconnect all the appliances. Sometimes there are power surges that infallibly damage them.
- Check on your neighbors.
- Use mobile phones, lights, and other electric appliances as little as possible.
The bottom line is we must not get completely dependent on a single source of power, a source that can be down any time. The greatest natural power source, the sun, and some of the more primitive life support facilities that overlook electricity are the best solution.