Preparedness Tip Wednesday: Blackouts had this great article on preparing for a power outage and I wanted to share it with ya'll. For the full article go here.

How to Be Prepared for a Power Outage: Provisions and Preparations

By , dealnews contributor with Emily Dovi, Features Editor
So far this month, the average temperature in NYC has been about 10 degrees higher than normal. As a result, the city's power consumption has increased, and with all those A/Cs and fans blowing, the risk of an imposed brownout in order to prevent a sudden blackout rings high. Remembering the effects of Hurricane Sandy just eight months ago, we're all familiar in the ways a blackout could very well cripple a town or city.
The increased potential of losing power in the summer prompts us to ask, are you prepared for a blackout? Here's a list of steps you can take and items you should have to ensure you're prepared for a time without electricity.

  1. An Electric GeneratorDepending on the size, larger generators can also supply enough juice to run a whole household, including the furnace, stove, hot water heater, sump pumps, and even an air conditioner. You'll want at least 2,000 watts of power to run some lights, a gas furnace and a fridge, and much more power if you want to use electricity for cooking and heating or cooling your home. To best deterine how much generator power you will need during a blackout, check out the Consumer Reports calculator before you buy.
  2. Food PreparednessIn the event of a power outage, you'll want to have stocked up on coolers and know of places nearby that sell ice. Make sure your pantry is full of canned foods and ready-to-eat foodstuffs. It's also pretty crucial that you have a hand crank can opener! Your pets need food, too. So it's smart to keep at least a week's worth of pet food on hand at all times.
  3. Water SuppliesYou'll want to keep about a gallon of drinking water per person per day on hand, and it's important to rotate this supply. If you receive a severe weather warning, it'd advisable to even fill your tub up water to provide what you'll need to flush your commode.
  4. Light source- While we are in the heat of summer and light isn't much a consideration, keeping candles or oil lamps on hand to generate light is still a smart precautionary move. But a new generations of LED lamps and flashlights may be a wiser investment. 
  5. A way to warm up or cool down- Winter blackouts are not only difficult to deal with because of the shortened hours of daylight, but the cold weather also poses a challenge to keeping warm. Make sure you have a supply of blankets and sleeping bags to bundle into. If you have a wood-burning fireplace or stove, keep a stockpile of wood on hand to get you through a week or more. If a power outage occurs during a hot spell, there's little you can do except endure and stay hydrated. A battery-operated personal fan might be a good device to have on hand. Keep in mind the signs of heat stroke and seek emergency medical attention if you see them: red, hot and dry skin, a rapid, strong pulse, dizziness, nausea, confusion or even unconsciousness.
  6. A way to gather information-  A handcrank or  solar power radio. Keep in mind though, that some of these devices run on AA batteries.
Other Precautionary Measures:
  • Make sure you know how to disconnect your garage door from the opener so you can get in and out without power.
  • Keep the tank of your car at least half full because gas stations can't pump gas without electricity.
  • Keep spare propane on hand for your gas grill if you plan to use it to cook in an emergency.
  • Keep at least a week's medication on hand. Pharmacies probably won't open without power. This includes pet medications.
  • If you are suffering an outage, unplug sensitive equipment like your computers; the surge when the power comes back on could damage them if you don't have a surge protector hooked up.

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