The Night the Lights Went Out in Your House

Posted April 30th, 2010
by HomeownersInsurance.org Staff (no comments)

The thing about nature is that you never really know when it’s going to really get rough. Disasters can hit at any time. Whether you’re talking about things like hurricanes and monsoons or whether you’re talking about lightning storms and hailstorms, the fact of the matter is there are plenty of natural events that can cause real damage to your house. While your homeowners insurance may help you to replace anything that gets damaged after the fact, it won’t help you get ready for the potential disaster in the first place.

One of the most common side effects of a natural disaster is a power outage. Whether a tree falls on your house or whether you have golf ball sized hail that blows a transformer, power outages just happen. In many cases, a power outage is the first stage in a natural disaster.

Here are some things you can do ahead of time in order to prepare for a power outage:

  • Get some emergency supplies. You don’t want to be the one running out to find supplies when there’s no power on the grid for 100 miles. There are some important items you should have on hand that can help you get through a power outage. You should have several dozen candles, for example. Matches and lighters are useful, too. You might consider a battery-operated space heater, or a space heater that uses some kind of gas and is safe indoors. You’ll want to have flashlights and batteries. You should have some canned goods and dry foods, as well as some fresh water and juices. Make sure you have some extra blankets, too.
  • Be prepared to keep warm. You should have plenty of extra clothes in case you lose power to your home’s heating system. Be smart about the cold, too. Don’t turn on your gas stove to provide heat. Use space heaters that are approved for indoor use, and that will automatically shut off if they tip over.

Be realistic about risks. If you live in an area that’s on the coast and there is a hurricane warning, be smart about it. No one is going to fault you if you head for higher ground. You’re much better off spending a couple of nights at a hotel 50 miles away just to be safe than you are being at home if disaster strikes. If there is imminent danger, get out.

Photo via edkohler

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