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Be Ready When the Power Goes Out

Perhaps I was a weird kid, but I loved it when severe storms or tornado warnings were announced. Everything seemed so much more exciting with that little map of Southeastern Michigan in the corner of the TV showing us where the warning was. I later realized that huddling with a group of people in a bathroom at the park or sitting in the basement wasn’t just a novel experience and that storms could cause actual consequences. The point is, thanks to modern technology we oftentimes have somewhat of a warning for when a storm will hit. Therefore, even though having no power can be inconvenient and even scary, there are some ways to prepare.

Install a Generator

It may take a little more preparation than a few hours to purchase and have a generator installed but automatic standby generators give you the best armor against a power outage.  A generator such as this will turn on automatically as soon as it senses a power outage (this is pretty instantaneous) and allow you to keep your lights on as well as use other appliances.

Save/Back Up Major Documents and Unplug Expensive Electronics

If you ever had to type a major paper in college you are aware of the indescribable fear of realizing that you forgot to save your work or back it up to an outside source before your computer crashed.  Do not let a power outage erase your work on the computer unexpectedly.  If you know a storm is coming, be sure to save what you are working on not just to your computer but also to an outside source as well.  If the power goes out then you are covered, if it doesn’t, then at least you were prepared.  In addition, power surges from the power being turned back on can fry your electronics, so unplug them or have them plugged into a surge suppressor to eradicate that risk.

Put Together an Emergency Kit

DTE suggests the following items should be put in an emergency kit:

  • Battery-powered radio or television. The news media will provide updates on when electricity will be restored
  • Flashlights or battery-operated lanterns
  • Extra batteries
  • Candles with holders
  • Matches
  • Bottled water
  • Manual can opener
  • Nonperishable food
  • Disposable plates and utensils
  • Wind-up or battery-powered clock
  • Corded telephone. Cordless phones don’t work when the power goes out and your cell phone may not work if cell towers are affected

(DTE Energy- Preparing for a Power Outage)

I think it wouldn’t be a bad idea to include some playing cards or a board game in that kit as well.  In the age of instant gratification, being without electronic entertainment can be pretty scary.

A power outage can cause many difficulties ranging from missing your favorite TV Show to breaking a computer to having a flooded basement.  Being prepared can help lessen many of the effects of a power outage.  If you have any questions about generators or surge suppressors, please feel free to contact FLAME!

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