A power blackout is something that every homeowner in the greater Kansas City needs to prepare for, since it’s inconvenient and even dangerous to be without power, especially in the winter, when storms can bring down power lines and temperatures drop below freezing for extended periods. If you haven’t prepared for power blackout for at least three days, consider taking these steps to protect you and your family:
- Have at least three gallons of drinkable water on hand for each person in your home, along with food for three days. While your water likely will still be running, the water treatment and distribution system may be knocked out by an outage. Choose easy-to-heat meals (if you have a way to heat them) or those that are palatable at room temperature. Canned and shelf-ready food will keep you from opening the refrigerator, which keeps food colder.
- Keep extra batteries on hand for your flashlights. If each person doesn’t have one, choose LED flashlights that burn longer on batteries. Don’t use candles unless they’re constantly monitored.
- Learn to open your garage door manually. If the power goes out, you can drive somewhere if you can open the garage door.
- Have extra cash on hand if a big storm is imminent. You may find a store open that accepts cash, but the card processing may not be working. ATMs may be out as well.
- Keep your gas tank full in case you need to leave the area.
- Supply your home with extra bedding if you don’t have a fireplace or wood-burning stove. You might also may be able to supplement indoor heat with tent heaters, following the venting requirements carefully.
- Learn where to turn off the circuit breaker for your HVAC equipment. When the power returns, it could cause a spike, damaging the electronics inside your heating appliance. You can also have a surge protector installed for it.
- If your health would be compromised during an extended power outage, consider installing a standby compressor that taps into your natural gas line. Depending on it size, you can run from everything from a few essential circuits to your whole home. Portable models are also available.
- Make sure your carbon monoxide detector is working properly if you’re using any non-electric supplemental heating source.
If you’d like more information about preparing for a power blackout, contact Overland Park Heating & Cooling. We’ve provided quality HVAC services for greater Kansas City since 1983.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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