U.S. Homeowners saw power outages occur 73% more frequently in 2020. This equates to 1.33 billion outage hours.
Power outages, or blackouts are no joke. They come and go without warning and can be caused by many different factors, which include hurricanes, wildfires, high winds & lightning storms.
Natural disasters are occurring more frequently in 2022 thanks to Climate Change.
With that being said, its not all doom and gloom. With the right knowledge, we can prepare.
The purpose of this article is to provide you with actionable tips you can implement to help ease the shock and effect of a blackout caused by a natural disaster.
We hope you find this article interesting and more importantly, useful.
1. Prepare a grab and go kit.
Grab and go kits, also known as a bug out bags, are one of the most popular items you’ll find on all survival sites.
Marketing aside, these bags are handy, and efficient. They should be light but contain all the essentials such as:
- Duct Tape (25’)
- 55 Gal. Contractor Garbage Bag (Qty 2)
- Resealable Bags (Qty 5, Various Sizes)
- N95 Face Mask
- Sewing Kit
- Survival Axe
- Fishing Kit
- Medical aid kit (important)
- Military Surplus Survival / Snare Wire
Based on the contents of this bag I am sure you can see why they are quite popular. The idea is that you want these bags prepared so that should anything happen you can simply pick one up and move to a safer location.
2. Stock up on supplies
Should disaster strike and you be required to stay indoors for an extended period of time, you best be having the right supplies on hand.
What people stock up on is very much relative. As I am sure many of you reading this remember the toilet paper frenzy when Covid-19 hit?
In general, the supplies you stock up on should be essential items for survival. Think food, water and security.
Some items you may want to consider stocking up on, are the following:
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener
- Protein or fruit bars
- Dry cereal or granola
- Peanut butter
- Dried fruit
- Canned juices
- Non-perishable pasteurised milk
- High-energy foods
- Food for infants
- Comfort/stress foods
(Please note, the above list was prepared by ready.gov
3. Stay hydrated
Perhaps one of the most important tips on this list, staying hydrated. As I am sure the majority of you already know, most of us can only last 3 days without water. Making the majority of the things on this list futile should you not give this tip the attention it requires.
It’s important to note that the amount of time one survives without water is extremely variable and depends on many factors coming together.
But just to give you some perspective. Randall Packer, a biologist at George Washington University in Washington, D.C says "an adult can lose between 1 and 1.5 liters [2.1 to 3.2 pints] of sweat an hour”. Meaning you will need to replace all this displaced water somehow.
4. Consider backup power
If you’ve experienced a blackout before (very likely, as you are reading this article) you know how frustrating it can be to be without power.
Either you are hit while you are sleeping, and all goes unnoticed. Or, you are hit during peak hours where you need electricity the most. Think between, 12 - 1 pm, or morning rush hour.
Blackouts can be very disruptive to every day life, especially if they occur frequently. For example, in South Africa, homeowners experience what is known as loadshedding. Scheduled blackouts which can occur up to 4 hours (or more) per day.
In these types of scenarios, having backup power can be extremely helpful.
5. Prepare an evacuation plan
An evacuation plan is paramount to survival should disaster strike. Going over various scenarios and coming up with a reliable evacuation plan is a really smart idea. You can even team up with your neighbours and coordinate a community wide plan should disaster strike.
6. Know where the nearest cooling center is located.
Prolonged exposure to high temperatures above those of the seasonal average, can endanger human health in many ways.
According to a study published on Research Gate: "Long term temperature increases, extreme heat events, heat-related drought, high nighttime temperatures, and urban heat islands all impact health. Health effects include heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and death."
Fortunately for us, knowing where your nearest cooling station is can help prevent a lot of these issues mentioned above.
7. Stay indoors as much as possible in the heat of the day.
If you know the temperatures are expected to be well above the norm, try aim to stay indoors, especially during midday.
The goal here is to stay out of direct sunlight. If you have a home with a basement, make frequent trips here throughout the day to cool off.
Remember, warm air is less dense than cold air, which means it will always rise to the highest part of your home. This is why basements are always so cool.
Preparedness and some foresight can mean the difference between life or death (in extreme situations).
After reading this article you are one step closer to being more prepared should you experience an extreme weather event in the form of a summer heat wave.
We recommend reading some more of our articles on related subjects, or also some self help books that focus on general preparedness.