No matter where you live, you've likely experienced a power outage. Unfortunately, minor outages and major blackouts can happen anywhere. Most of the time, they last long enough to be an inconvenience with no real damage. However, there are times when a disaster strikes and you're left without power for several days. According to the US Department of Energy, Hurricane Matthew caused an average of 20 hours of power disruption to affected areas, with parts of the East Coast without power for up to six days.
It's important to prepare for lengthy power outages by keeping a supply of bottled water, non-perishable items, flashlights, and batteries. And while it’s vital to have these power outage essentials on hand, installing a standby generator in your home is the ultimate way to prepare for a power outage. Installing a standby generator allows you to be more comfortable during a power outage and lessens the impact of a blackout. A standby generator like the Cummins QuietConnect Series is designed to kick in when the power goes out to keep everything running.
If you have a standby generator, here are some things you can do to be a good neighbor in the event of a power outage.
Communicate with your neighbors
Many neighborhoods have private social media groups or websites like nextdoor.com where they can keep up with events, issues, and community information. During times of extended power outages, this can be a place to communicate with your neighbors and offer assistance. You can spearhead an effort to identify homes with power and/or generators and provide information on what each homeowner would be willing to help with.
Offer to store temperature-sensitive medicine in your fridge
Medicines stored at improper temperatures can lose potency, break down or even become a health threat. You will, undoubtedly, have neighbors with medications that require refrigeration. Offer to keep their medicine cool and safe until power is restored.
Set up an outdoor charging station
Phone and backup batteries will suffice during a short-term outage, but having a neighborhood charging hub during an extended power outage can make a world of difference. To help keep your neighborhood connected and prepared, set up an extension cord outside with a multiple-outlet power strip and invite your neighbors to use it to keep their devices charged and ready.
Invite your neighbors over for a hot meal
A home-cooked meal may be the morale boost your neighbors need in the event of a prolonged power outage. Inviting some of your neighbors over for a hot meal can turn a power outage into a get-together that will surely be appreciated. It will provide them not only with a distraction, but will also be a good bonding experience with those who live around you.
A power outage can range from a minor inconvenience to a life-threatening event. Planning ahead is critical to keeping you, your family and neighbors as safe and comfortable as possible. Major weather-related events may result in a power outage and now is the time to prepare your home.
If you're thinking about installing a standby generator as a permanent solution, be sure to consult the professionals. Power outages are bound to happen. By preparing for the inevitable, you can minimize (or even eliminate) the impact of these events so your life can go on as normal.
This post is sponsored by Cummins, Inc. All opinions are my own.