Power outages in the US seem to be on the rise, and there is more than one reason for this. For the householder, the reason is perhaps less important than the sheer inconvenience. In some cases, it can be downright dangerous.
Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to get prepared and keep the disruption to your daily life to a minimum.
1. Secure Your Power Source
In a power outage, you can lose your heat, light, and sometimes water instantly.
A power outage can be very frightening for a family with young children, elderly relatives, or someone who is sick or vulnerable with reliance on medication or medical equipment.
The first step you can take is to prepare for an outage that could last three to seven days. A portable power station is a good investment for this. This system relies on solar power for energy and will allow you to light and heat your home, with whole-home systems integrating directly with your home.
You can have your pick of power supplies by researching the best portable power stations. These systems come in various sizes and power-boosting options with impressive run times for lengthy outages.
Access to essential appliances and lights keeps the family safe and allows you to plan for the possibility of extended downtime. You can also charge electric vehicles to provide essential travel.
2. Stock Your Pantry
Make sure you have an emergency supply of food that is non-perishable. It’s also crucial to have a backup water supply, enough for the whole family for a week.
Food and water are essentials, and a well-stocked pantry can save you from having to head out in a protracted bad weather event.
3. Stormproof Your Property
Stormproofing can include various precautions both inside and outside your home.
Start by removing fencing that might blow down and felling trees near the house. Heavy winds can knock down entire trees and send large objects flying through the air.
Have a secure location where you can place items like outdoor toys, planters, and laundry lines, all items which can be blown around in bad weather and cause damage to property and even personal injury.
Ensure you can cope with a large volume of rainwater by installing extra drainage and designing your yard or garden to direct water away from the house.
Why Are Power Outages On the Rise?
The number of outages has doubled in the past couple of decades due to an outdated grid network and climate change.
The US is no stranger to extreme weather, but the frequency of these weather events is burdening the nation’s aging electric grid. You could call it a perfect storm.
According to a report from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average American experienced zero electricity for more than 8 hours in 2020.
Severe weather was the leading cause of power loss. That year, the US encountered 11 major storms and 14 hurricanes.
Utility companies are trying to upgrade transmission lines and equipment, but many of these are decades old. Outdated infrastructure also increases energy costs for the consumer, and that’s before you factor in the volatility of global energy.
The take-home message is that homeowners need to become more self-reliant and plan ahead.
Preparing for power outages is no longer planning for a possibility—it’s a certainty that will only affect more people worldwide. But you can keep your family and home safe if you plan wisely.