What to Do During a Summer Power Outage
Posted by Kristopher Schwind
Just as winter power outages can be risky due to lack of heat, summer outages can be just as dangerous for the opposite reason – extreme heat. Not only is extreme heat uncomfortable, but it can also pose serious health risks, including heatstroke.
So keep your health (and sanity) intact and follow our tips for staying safe in a summer power outage.
When the power goes out on a hot summer day, you’ll need to literally keep your cool. Before you panic, remember that people did survive in a time without air conditioning. It’s just a matter of being resourceful and making the best of a bad situation.
The first (and probably most obvious) suggestion is to purchase battery-operated fans. If it’s particularly hot during the outage, try putting a pan of ice water in front of the fan to cool the air as it blows.
Cold washcloths are also a simple solution and great in extreme heat situations. Just soak the cloth in cold water and drape it around your neck; it’ll help reduce your core temperature and provide immediate relief.
If you can navigate your way around your bathroom sans light, taking a cold shower can also be a huge help, as is going for a dip in the pool if that’s an option.
One of the leading causes of heat-related illnesses is dehydration, so be sure to drink plenty of water. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends drinking a glass of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes, even if you’re not thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine which will only dehydrate you further.
Store Food Safely
Aside from the personal challenges posed by summer outages, they can also be taxing on your food supply as well.
During an outage, try your best to keep your fridge closed for as long as possible to prevent cold air from escaping. You should also invest in a digital thermometer (if you don’t already have one), so you can regulate the fridge’s temperature and determine if food is still safe for consumption once the outage is over.
As a general rule of thumb, dairy products and meat are only safe to eat if they’re stored around 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, so if you notice your thermometer has surpassed that temperature once the outage has subsided, err on the side of caution and toss any items that have gone bad. Full freezers will usually remain cool for about 48 hours, or about 24 hours half full.
Your best bet is to keep a stock of non-perishable food handy so you won’t go hungry when the contents of your fridge have spoiled. Coolers are also a good solution for shorter outages of 24 hours or less, but after that, the ice will melt and food will begin to spoil in there as well.
Your best weapon against the risks and challenges of power failures is advance preparation. If power outages are a significant problem in your area, protect yourself with back-up power from a generator. Generators will keep you powered up and ensure that you’re safe, no matter what the weather.
So if you’re ready to invest in a generator for your property, get in touch for a free assessment, and a professional generator technician will work with you to determine the best generator to meet your unique needs.
Kristopher Schwind is the proud owner of National Standby Repair.