It’s a reality of modern life. At any given time, hundreds or even thousands of customers are without electrical service at different communities around the nation. You can take a look at the map of collected data yourself at PowerOutage.us.
How can you be prepared for the next power outage? It starts with the basics such as those mentioned in the Emergency Preparedness Kit by the Red Cross. It includes common sense safety measures like those outlined at Ready.gov. Some of those no-brainer, basic items that you ideally need in one place in the event of an outage include these:
- Flashlight for each family member
- Phone charging not dependent on electricity
- Weather radio
- Extra batteries
- Water and nonperishable foods
- Manual can opener
- Essential medicines
A big safety concern during a power outage is the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning from unsafe efforts to heat or cook indoors. A carbon monoxide detector is recommended. Generators and fuel should be kept outdoors. Gas stoves/ovens should not be used to heat your home.
Some homeowners and business owners opt for safe generator backup along with battery storage which may be conserving extra electricity from an on-site solar array. While for safety reasons the array is set to stop producing electricity if the power grid goes down, that extra electricity stored in the battery can be a backup source to keep the heat and lights on.
When it comes to long-term planning for homes, businesses and communities, distributed power sources provide a level of resilience that moves beyond dependence on a single grid system.
Anne Brock is marketing coordinator for SolarAlliance.com, which offers start-to-finish solar project management, energy evaluations and grant writing. She can be reached at: 865-221-8349 firstname.lastname@example.org