Thunderstorms, high winds and heavy snow aren’t uncommon in Southwest Illinois, and in order to be prepared for a power outage, it’s essential that your home is ready. If you’ve ever experienced a power outage, you know how inconvenient, and even hazardous, it can be. However, taking the time to gather a few supplies and take some important steps can help you endure the experience with a little more comfort, while ensuring the safety of both you and your family.
Safe food and water are a priority any time a power outage occurs:
- A few inexpensive coolers to keep food fresh.
- A backup supply of ice, stored in a freezer, if you have one.
- Freezer bags, to divvy up the ice, which will allow you to pack the coolers with ice.
- A food thermometer, which will enable you to gauge the safety of your food. Any perishable food that reads over 40 degrees may have gone bad, and you shouldn’t eat it.
- A backup supply of full gallon water jugs. The Red Cross recommends having one gallon for each person in your family, with enough to get by for two weeks.
- A supply of water for flushing toilets is also handy. You can fill buckets or a bathtub with water for this purpose.
Once you have supplies on hand to ensure that you will have a safe supply of food and water, you’ll want to prepare an emergency kit with the following items:
- Battery-operated radio.
- Backup batteries.
- Band-aids, gauze, and medical tape.
- Medications for family members who rely on them.
- Medical information, birth certificates, and other relevant information.
- Hygiene supplies, with soap, deodorant, etc.
- Emergency list of contacts, family members and friends.
- Backup heating source, such as a wood-burning stove or standby generator.
- A fully charged cell phone and/or a charger in your car.
- Full tank of gas.
Make sure you’re prepared for the next weather front to move through the area, and have your emergency kit ready. If you’d like help with ensuring an energy-efficient home, or you have questions about your home’s heating and cooling system, contact Edwardsville’s HVAC experts at Ernst Heating & Cooling today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about power outages and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.