Sometimes, changing weather conditions mean more than just clouds on a sunny day. Strong storms can cause power outages, some of which can last several hours – or, worse yet, days. Electricity is undeniably an essential part of daily life, so what should you do when your apartment’s power goes out? Below, learn about what you should stock up on now to be ready for your apartment’s next power outage and what you should do during an apartment power outage.
Get these items now for your next apartment power outage
Don’t get caught unprepared for a long period without electricity. Get the following items now for your apartment’s next power outage:
An emergency preparedness kit
Put together an emergency preparedness kit so that you can have any essentials on hand that might otherwise be tough to access during a power outage. An emergency preparedness kit includes water, non-perishable food, portable chargers, flashlights, batteries, radios, and more. Every 30 days, you should check that your flashlight is working and has enough battery charge according to these instructions.
An evacuation plan
If your apartment power outage is the result of an especially severe storm such as a tornado or hurricane, you may need to evacuate. Establish an evacuation plan with everyone else living in your apartment, determine a location to which you can relocate, and figure out how you will get there in the event of severe weather.
Plenty of gas for your car
If you have to evacuate, you won’t make it very far on a car that doesn’t have enough gas. Make sure your car’s gas tank is at least half full ahead of a large storm that could knock out your power.
Non-electronic entertainment options
If you’re stuck in your apartment for several days without electricity, streaming and the Internet aren’t going to be available. Stock up on board games, cards, books, and other non-electronic entertainment options now to be ready for the next time your apartment’s power goes out.
Non-electronic cooling options
A summer power outage means your air conditioning won’t work. Now is the time to buy battery-operated or other non-electric fans to help you stay cool if you have no air conditioning. Some additional AC alternatives can be found here.
How to get through your apartment power outage
Even if you’re fully prepared for your next apartment power outage, having no electricity can still pose plenty of challenges to your usual daily life. Take the following steps to get through your apartment power outage:
Immediately report the power outage
During a power outage, phone lines may remain operational. Many electricity companies operate call or text lines through which you can report power outages and receive updates on when you should expect your electricity to return. Not only does reporting your power outage alert your utility company and provide you with an estimate of when your power will come back, but during larger power outages, some utility companies will prioritize restoring power to areas with higher numbers of outages.
Keep the fridge and freezer closed
With no power in your apartment, your fridge and freezer can’t stay cool. Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed during a power outage as often as possible. According to the USDA, food in a standard refrigerator will stay properly cold for four hours after a power outage. In a full freezer, food stays properly cold for 48 hours, and in a half-full freezer, food stays properly cold for 24 hours. (Fridge and freezer concerns are why your emergency preparedness kit should include water and non-perishable food.)
Stay calm and know when to take additional action
After reporting your power outage to your utility company, you can only do so much to get your electricity back. Stay calm and entertain (and distract) yourself with your board games, cards, and books. Use your flashlight to see at night and your battery-powered fans to stay cool if needed.
Remain aware of weather conditions outside if a severe storm has caused your power outage. You should stay in your apartment unless you deem it necessary to evacuate, and then, you should follow your evacuation plan. If your power outage is due to a brief thunderstorm that left ample sun behind in its wake, you can go outside if you expect no additional inclement weather – and getting out just might be the best way to forget about the stresses of an apartment power outage.