There are few things as inconvenient as experiencing a power outage when you least expect it. Power outages may occur because of bad weather, an overloaded system, or problems with the supply grid. Whichever the case, you can prepare for a power outage by following these five tips.

1. Keep Water on Hand

If your well or water source requires electricity to pump water, you will experience a water shortage when the power goes off. The National Safety Council advises homeowners to stock up with enough water to survive for three days.

To prepare for a power outage, you will need to store a gallon of water per person per day. You should also put aside water for cleaning, cooking, pets, and personal hygiene.

2. Stock Up on Food to Prepare For a Power Outage

If you have a refrigerator packed with perishable foods, you can only rely on it when it is powered. You also won’t be able to use your electric stove during a power outage. To be better prepared, stock up on food that does not need to be kept cold and doesn’t have to be cooked.

Create a reserve of canned or freeze-dried foods. These are non-perishable foods that last a while without power. You might also purchase a small camp stove to store with your emergency food supply.

3. Prepare for an Outage with Backup Power Sources

Another way to prepare for a power outage is to invest in backup energy sources. Consider buying a generator. This appliance can be easily powered up when the power goes out and used for essential appliances. Keep the refrigerator running or use the generator to provide power to your space heater.

If you have a solar power system, use the system’s battery as a backup energy source. For computer systems, you might install an uninterruptible power supply. This system gives you a few minutes of power to save your documents and safely shut down your equipment after an outage.

4. Alternative Home Heating and Cooling

Power outages can be especially bothersome in environments that use indoor climate control. To prepare for a power outage, invest in alternative heating and cooling methods for your living spaces.

A good alternative to electricity-powered heating and cooling systems is an appliance that runs on propane or battery power. If you choose to use propane heaters, make sure the rooms are properly ventilated.

5. Invest in an Emergency Kit to Prepare for a Power Outage

Another tip to be ready for a power outage is to buy or build an emergency kit. Your emergency kit should contain a flashlight, extra batteries, personal hygiene products, and first aid supplies.

Include a can opener for canned food, an extra car and home key, and cash. Your emergency kit should contain things you need to survive for several days without electricity.

Experiencing a power outage can be hard on your household. Since it is difficult to predict when the power will go off, it is smart to be prepared, especially if you live in an area where power outages are common.

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