Severe weather and accidents can cause power outages that last for days or weeks. Learning how to protect your home and loved ones in the case of such an emergency can reduce any potential damage and ensure your safety. Specifically, there are several ways to save energy in emergency situations like this.
Disconnect Electrical AppliancesUnplug televisions, microwaves, air conditioners, computers, and other electrical appliances. This precaution will protect your belongings from power surges and lessen the electrical drain to your power supplier.
Keep Food ColdMake sure to keep refrigerators and freezers closed to maintain cold temperatures and preserve your food safely for as long as possible. Stock your freezer - a full freezer will stay sufficiently cold for twice as long as a half-full freezer. You can also insulate your fridge and freezer with blankets. If your power is likely to be out for a while, add bags of ice to your fridge (if the power outage is longer than four hours), and to your freezer (if the power outage is longer than 24 hours).
Dress AppropriatelyIf the power outage occurs in warm weather, wear light clothing to stay cool. If the weather is cooler, dress in layers to keep warm. During an extended power outage in cold weather, stay in one room to leverage body heat, preferably a room with a fireplace and without many windows.
Keep Your House Cool NaturallyInsulate your home from the elements year-round. Install energy efficient plantation shutters, which provide insulation as well as a tight-fitting barricade between your home's temperature and outside heat. Close all shutters to conserve energy. Plant deciduous trees on the east and west sides of your home to create more shade to lower temperatures.
Keep Emergency Supplies StockedIn one location, store flashlights, batteries, candles and matches, first aid kit and medications, drinking water and non-perishable food. These items will help you weather any power outage or other emergency situation, and will ensure adequate food and water supply without opening the fridge or freezer.
Preparing your home for an emergency situation in advance is critical, and can increase your comfort and safety should an emergency occur. During an emergency, stay calm, and remember that power suppliers will be working diligently to restore power to your home. If a family member's health is at risk, take him or her to a community center with adequate power and supplies.
Annette Hazard is a freelance writer that usually writes about home and family issues. She is a mother of one and spends her free time exploring the outdoors with her family.