How To Survive Your Next Planned (Or Unplanned) Blackout

Featured image CC2.0 by Jody McIntyre via Flickr

Whether planned blackouts are the new normal in California or not, it’s probably safest to assume they are. The best thing to do is to prepare, and there are even things you can do in an unplanned blackout.

Buy Solar Lights

Solar lights are an energy efficient way of lighting your landscape, but during a blackout, they will give you light for several hours, without flashlights or fire. In other words, they’re safer than candles and they don’t use batteries.

Unplug Electronics

As the power begins to come back on, you may experience surges, which can be very damaging to electronics. Unplug them, or at the very least, make sure they are plugged into a surge protector. That’s good advice even while you have power.

Don’t Open Your Fridge

Most modern refrigerators are very efficient, and can withstand more than a day without power, as long as you keep the door closed.

Keep It Outside

When you don’t have power, you don’t have a lot of options. You can read a book, take a nap, or perhaps do a little cleaning (as long as there’s light), but if you plan on cooking with propane or running a generator, use it outside, away from open windows. Otherwise you risk dangerous carbon monoxide coming into your house.

Remember Your Car

Your car’s battery is a handy charging device for when you don’t have power. Charge your phone and tablets with your car every time you take a ride.

Open Your Garage Door

The majority of homes have automatic garage door openers, which leaves you holding a worthless remote during a blackout. Before your next blackout, go to your garage and look for a rope hanging from the arm connecting the door to the rail. If your door is closed, you can pull the rope and open it. You can close it the same way.