Losing your electricity is never fun, but it's especially frustrating in the summertime. When thunder strikes, my thoughts immediately turn to storm-prep mode.
The summers in the mid-Atlantic can be just as hot as the deep South. We battle the heat with central air, window units, box fans ... all things that require electricity. What happens, then, when a storm hits and your neighborhood goes dark? Are you prepared? Here are some things that you can have on hand just in case the power goes out this summer.
When the power goes out, it often affects your water supply. Sometimes a "boil water" notice is issued because of low pressure or issues at the water treatment sites. Instead of making a last-minute run for the store, keep a few gallons of water stashed away.
As you finish a two-liter of soda, fill it with water and store it for future use. Don't go nuts: Just having 2-3 per person will do to tide you over. Refresh your refilled two-liters every month or so.
2. Ice and a Small Cooler
Even if it's just an extra gallon zipper bag of ice cubes, have some extra ice on hand. The minute you lose power, put it in the small cooler. This will be for drinks or cooling you off later and will keep you from opening your freezer.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests that food in a full freezer will stay frozen up to 48 hours, while a half-full freezer will be fine after up to 24 hours.
3. A Battery-operated Fan
There's a reason why stadiums have misting sprays. Even the slightest breeze, when coupled with a spritz of water, can be amazingly cooling. Don't forget the batteries!
Have at least one or two alternate light sources on hand in case the power goes out at night. Large glass jar candles are much safer than tea lights or unsecured pillar candles. You can even buy ceramic or metal shades for them. Dollar stores have great little tap lights that produce a comforting glow – get some on your next trip!
Last but not least, you should always have at least two flashlights – one for your house and one for your car.
5. A Backup Plan
Do a little searching and have a list of inexpensive hotels near you on hand. If the temperatures are sky-high and the power company is estimating days of repairs, you can't go wrong with a bit of a staycation. Don't forget to include one with a pool!
Even if all you have is a deck of cards, you'll need something to stave off boredom as you wait for power to be restored. Books, puzzles, crossword books, and trips to the movies are all great ways to make the waiting go by faster.
With a little advance preparation, you can always be ready for a power outage. Don't be caught without blackout supplies this summer!
**All of the photos in this article are courtesy of Pexels.
Did we miss any of your power outage prep tips? Let us know in the comments!