We all assume we’re ready for a power outage, until it happens. Simple steps are easily forgotten, and we often find ourselves scrambling for a flashlight. Instead of compromising your comfort and safety during a blackout, take preventative measures for a power outage. After all, spring is right around the corner, meaning heavy storms are increasing in frequency for Central Texas homeowners. From the experts at Salt Light & Electric, here are some power outage preparations!

Know the Correct People to Contact

  • Keep a list of essential contact numbers in case of a power outage. These numbers include pertinent phone and electrical companies as well as local emergency stations.
  • If you noticed a downed power line – make sure that you stay at least 30 feet away from it. Call 911 immediately or find the appropriate emergency number (which might include the local phone or electricity company).
  • If you live in an apartment or rental property, make sure that you know the proper emergency protocol. Do you call the management company first? Find out the appropriate channels so there aren’t any disconnects or time wasted on contacting the wrong source.

Acquire an Emergency Preparedness Kit

  • Whether a power outage lasts a day or a week, an emergency preparedness kit is essential for every household.
  • There are a wide variety of emergency preparedness kits available online and in home improvement and drug stores.
  • The contents of an emergency preparedness kit can vary, but generally are as follows: first aid kit, flashlight, whistle, wrench or pliers, radio, water, batteries, canned food, can opener, map, and cell phone.

Have Sufficient Charge

  • Keep your devices at full charge as much as possible, especially if the weather forecast calls for an upcoming storm.
  • Stock up on the necessary batteries for your flashlight, radio, fire/CO detectors, and other necessary devices.
  • Consider purchasing portable USB chargers to act as a secondary charge for your smartphones and other essential devices.

Test Your CO Detectors

  • CO detectors are a necessary safety net during a power outage, as substituting electricity with coal, wood, or natural gas produces carbon monoxide.
  • Test your CO detectors once a month to ensure their function and battery level.
  • For a more detailed guide on maintaining your CO detectors, as well as smoke detectors, click here.

Garage Safety

  • Most homes utilize an electric garage door opener, so it is important that you know where the manual release is located in case of a power outage.
  • To open your garage door manually, find the red cord connected to the ceiling bracket in your garage.
  • Although the cord can vary in color, there should be only one cord connected to the ceiling bracket.
  • Pull on the red cord until you see the lever lock in a downwards position, and then you should be able to lift the garage door up.
  • To return your manual release lever, pull on the red cord again until the lever returns to its original position.

Have a Backup Generator

  • Although we can prepare for power outages as much as possible, they are still unexpected and can occur at any time.
  • A backup generator provides fast and automatic energy that is crucial during a blackout.
  • Backup generators act as a backup electrical system, maintaining energy during a power outage, and giving you ample time to perform any necessary tasks that require power.
  • You can purchase backup generators at almost any department store, with prices ranging from $99-1000 for a portable generator, to about $1500-5000 for a whole home backup generator.

Power outage preparations are essential as we enter spring, as acting on them can help ensure both safety and comfort during a blackout. If your CO detectors are not functioning properly, contact the experts at Salt Light & Electric today! Our CO detector services are performed by the most trusted electrical professionals in Central Texas. Give us a call at (512) 272-5000 to schedule an appointment and get started.