(ARA) - Mother Nature is full of surprises, especially during the winter months when freezing temperatures, ice, snow and high winds can knock out power to your home. Not only is a power outage inconvenient, it can threaten your safety. Your power can go out without notice, so make sure you're prepared the next time you're left in the dark.
Prepare Your Home and Family
A recent Chamberlain study conducted by Zoomerang found that 93 percent of homeowners reported having experienced a power outage this year alone, with some outages lasting hours or even days. Every family should prepare an emergency kit for storms and power outages and keep it in a central location. The kit should include:
* Flashlights, extra batteries, matches and candles
* A battery-operated weather radio
* A fully charged cell phone battery
* First aid supplies
* Bottled water and nonperishable packaged or canned foods and snacks
* Blankets, towels and pillows
Don't panic. Help keep family members and children calm in the dark by telling stories and playing games such as trivia and guessing games.
Always Have Access -- Don't Forget the Garage
Today, more than half of homeowners (55 percent) use the garage door as the primary entrance to their home, relying on an automatic garage door opener to gain access. However, during a power outage, homeowners are faced with having to manually lift the garage door, creating security, safety and convenience concerns. Make sure you have backup options when the power goes out.
To avoid being blocked from entering and exiting your garage during an outage, check out a garage door opener with the EverCharge Standby Power System, a battery backup system that continues to supply power to open and close your garage door for up to two days when the power has failed, available on selected Chamberlain and professionally installed LiftMaster garage door openers.
Know how to manually open and close your garage door during a power failure. Test your ability to ensure you can physically lift your garage door, your home's heaviest and largest moving object.
Save Your Appliances
Power surges happen, so unplug your appliances to avoid a blow out when the power returns. Using power strips with surge protectors is an easy and cost-effective way to protect expensive electrical appliances.
Open the refrigerator and freezer doors only when necessary and keep a cooler and ice packs on hand to store items that spoil easily. Remember to turn off your furnace, water heater and water pump. Leave one overhead room light in the "on" position so you can easily tell when the power has been restored. Courtesy of ARAcontent