With temperatures surging upward, there is no mistaking it: summer is here in Southern California. With the increase in temperatures comes an increased risk of fire danger, and that means rolling blackouts could be just around the corner. Blackouts have become an unfortunately common part of life here in the Golden State, and that means it’s highly advisable that you prepare for them. A little bit of extra preparation could go a long way toward you getting through the latest blackout in comfort, or struggling and scrambling to get by.
On this blog, we’ll explain a few ways you can prepare your home for summer blackout season, including what you can do to keep a little bit of power, how you can save food and medicine, and what you can do to improve comfort when you lose your air conditioning in the middle of sweltering weather.
Invest in an Energy-Efficient Ice Chest
Improvements in material technology and design have led to the development of ice chests and food storage that is capable of reaching and maintaining frigid temperatures for hours or even days at a time. While some of these coolers might prove to be a little more on the expensive side, investment in one could save you hundreds of dollars on wasted food the next time you have a power outage. All it takes is a bag of ice from your local convenience store and you should be set for a pretty long period of time.
If the power goes out and you suspect it may be down for several hours or even days, the first thing you should do is fill your cooler with all of the frozen food from your freezer as well as all of the ice from your ice maker or ice trays (should you have one). With an energy-efficient, well-insulated cooler, your food should stay at a stable and safe temperature for several days. You can also empty some of the most sensitive food from your refrigerator into your ice chest as well for added cooling and protection.
Purchase a Propane-Powered Camp Stove
When you lose power, you lose the ability to cook with anything that isn’t gas powered. If your home doesn’t utilize natural gas in the kitchen, then you more than likely will lose your ability to cook anything at all, unless the entire process uses nothing but cold food from start to finish. The best way to avoid this is to make sure you always have a source of cooking heat on standby, and you can find this with a propane powered camp stove.
Most camp stoves run anywhere from $50 to $80, and can generally be powered by anything from a small propane camping cylinder to a full-on propane tank. However, they become so much more valuable during a power outage because they can be easily ignited and operated during power outages so you maintain the ability to prepare hot food (which in turn can save you from potentially losing food to spoiling).
Stock Up on Flashlights & Batteries
This may seem like the most obvious entry on the list. One of the most critical functions that we use electricity for is lighting our homes so we can see everything around us. Not being able to see in the dead of night is a recipe for disaster, including injuries and damaged property. All of this can be avoided with a simple flashlight, and you can purchase flashlights virtually anywhere. However, flashlights don’t do you a lot of good if they don’t have batteries as a source of power.
We recommend buying a sizeable stockpile of batteries for your home, including extra batteries for the sizes you will use the most often like AA and AAA cells. Batteries generally have a shelf life of between four and five years, so you won’t have to replace them all that often and you’ll continue to go through them as the months go by. Likewise, you’ll be happy you have them when a flashlight dies on you.
Invest in a Backup Generator
Generators provide emergency power that you can take advantage of when the grid is taken down for safety purposes. Firing up and plugging in a generator can give you a limited amount of power for your home—enough for a few lights or even for a couple of fans that you can use to help you stay cool. Portable generators are great because they can do this and then be easily stored away in a garage or storage shed when the power goes back online.
However, for those who really want to minimize disruption in their life, consider installing a standby generator system. Standby generators automatically fire up to provide your home with power in the event of an outage, meaning minimal disruption to your life. Likewise, with generators that come in a variety of different sizes, you might be able to continue running your home exactly the same as you would under normal circumstances.Interested in learning more about installing an emergency backup generator for your property? Talk to the team at Carter Services by dialing (310) 872-1898 today.