In 2016, US electric customers went without power for about 4 hours on average during the entire year. Although this is an average of all outages across the country, 4 hours without power can be quite a long time.
Power outages can be one of the most frustrating things, but they still happen to everyone at some point. Learning what you should do before one occurs is the best way to avoid problems later.
Do you know what to do when the power goes out?
Keep reading to learn about the main steps to take after a power outage to remain as comfortable and “in the know” as possible.
Check Your Breakers
The first thing you have to do is check that all of your circuit breaks are on. If any breakers tripped on their own, they would be off. You can try to turn off your main breaker and switch it back on to see if that works.
In the event that you think your circuit breakers are the issue, it’s a good idea to get in touch with your electrician. They can also help you work on your generator, so be sure to find a professional like the one at this link for more help.
Contact Your Neighbors
If you don’t think your breakers are the problem, you will want to talk to your neighbors to see if their power is also out. Power outage causes can impact one house, a neighborhood, or a larger area, so it’s a good idea to see how far the problem has spread.
You can also just go outside and look to see if anyone else seems to have lights or electronics on. If they do, it may just be your home with the residential power outage issue.
Call Your Power Company
You also should contact your power company to find out if there is a local power outage and report that your power is currently not working.
They likely will already be aware of the home power outage, but even if they don’t, they will be able to look into it for you to get an update on the situation.
Preserve Your Food
Leave your refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible when your power is out. Any warm air that is able to get in will increase the rate at which all of your food spoils. If the power is out for only a little bit of time, your food should be fine.
However, if your power is out for a while, you may need to remove your perishable food items and eat them (or prep them a different way) before it all goes bad.
Keep Yourself Warm (or Cool)
You may start to get very hot or very cold without your usual HVAC systems up and running.
Dress in layers, keep a hat and gloves on, and rely on blankets if it’s cold. If it’s hot, try going outside to get a breeze, taking a cold shower, and wearing minimal clothes; you can even fan yourself off manually with a magazine or piece of paper if you need to.
Another option is to go out of your home and head to a place that hasn’t been impacted by the power outage. They will likely have air conditioning or heating that you can take advantage of for the time being.
Learn What to Do
Now that you understand what to do when it goes out, you’re prepared for the next power outage in your area. Make sure that you’re keeping yourself safe and comfortable until the lights turn back on.
If you liked this article, you’re probably interested in learning about more general life tips. Be sure to take a look at our Life section for more like this!