Tips and tools to prepare for power outages
by Brandpoint (ARA) Sponsored Content
Apr 16, 2013 | 22851 views | 0 0 comments | 218 218 recommendations | email to a friend | print
(BPT) - Storms have been packing big punches in recent years. While the debate about the cause might rage on, so do the natural elements that wreak havoc on private homes and public infrastructure. As has been seen in recent years, the aging of the American power grid has resulted in extended power outages – and that increasingly seems that this will be the new norm. However, going without power for long periods of time is non-negotiable for many Americans.

Waiting out a power failure is only an option for so long – and for many people, it’s not an option at all. When power goes out, preparedness goes a long way. As a new season of storms looms on the horizon, consider these tips to keep your household both safe and functional, whatever the weather.

* Generate your own power. A portable generator can provide safety and comfort in both long- and shorter-term power outages. As an alternative energy source, it gives you the option to keep your household running far more smoothly than it would with no power at all. Models like the Powerhorse Portable Generator from Northern Tool + Equipment will power your refrigerator, fans, space heaters, room air conditioners, lights, TVs and more during an outage, with surprisingly quiet and easy operation.

* Invert for an alternative power source. Inverters are another handy, portable option for added power. They convert power from sources like batteries into AC current, which can be used to power a wide array of necessities, from medical devices to phone chargers and beyond. The NPower Portable Digital Inverter features high surge capacity, overload and high-temperature shutdown, and even a USB port.

* Be charged up. If you plan on using an inverter, be sure to keep batteries charged during stormy seasons. Having battery chargers on hand will help you be prepared to get through the aftermath of a power-disrupting storm.

* Keep your home supplied. A stock of candles, batteries, flashlights, first aid supplies, prescription medicines and other helpful items like duct tape and a digital thermometer will serve you well in a short-term outage, but will also be essential if it lasts longer.

* Remember food and water safety. Because tap water might become unsafe to drink, a stock of bottled water is a critical supply. If power is out for more than two hours, it’s time to start thinking about food safety. Remember that meat, poultry, fish, and eggs need to be refrigerated at or below 40 F, and that frozen food has to be kept at or below 0 F to remain safe to eat, according to the USDA.

When storms strike, it can result in chaos, no matter where you live. By taking steps to prepare ahead of time, you’ll be able to cope with power outages and get life back to normal sooner than you might have expected. For more ideas and information, visit the Centers for Disease Control Emergency Preparedness page and www.northerntool.com.

Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

report abuse...

Express yourself:

We're glad to give readers a forum to express their points of view on issues important to this community. That forum is the “Letters to the Editor.” Letters to the editor may be submitted directly to The Times-Independent through this link and will be published in the print edition of the newspaper. All letters must be the original work of the letter writer – form letters will not be accepted. All letters must include the actual first and last name of the letter writer, the writer’s address, city and state and telephone number. Anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Letters may not exceed 400 words in length, must be regarding issues of general interest to the community, and may not include personal attacks, offensive language, ethnic or racial slurs, or attacks on personal or religious beliefs. Letters should focus on a single issue. Letters that proselytize or focus on theological debates will not be published. During political campaigns, The Times-Independent will not publish letters supporting or opposing any local candidate. Thank you letters are generally not accepted for publication unless the letter has a public purpose. Thank you letters dealing with private matters that compliment or complain about a business or individual will not be published. Nor will letters listing the names of individuals and/or businesses that supported a cause or event. Thank you letters about good Samaritan acts will be considered at the discretion of the newspaper.