Monday, May 21, 2007

Protect Yourself Against Power Outages

Of course, we would prefer not to lose electrical power at all. And sometimes some of us may feel that power companies could do a better job getting power back faster, but the fact of the matter is that they don't know where the outages will occur, nor with what severity. And it simply is not possible to have enough equipment and manpower on hand for events that occur occasionally. I remember trying to get a hotel room while traveling, and all the hotels on a long stretch of highway were booked solid, largely because they were housing workers brought in to help get power back to the area. But here are a couple things that you can do to lessen the impact of a loss of power before it occurs.
1) Listen to the weather reports frequently so you can know if a storm is expected. Charge your cell phone in advance of the storm.
2) Extend the ability of your refrigerator to withstand a loss of power
by freezing giant ice bars. Half gallon plastic containers from milk with twist caps may work well. Make sure not to fill them to the top: room is needed because the water will take up more space when it turns into ice, so first test out one bottle, at about 85% full. Keep some of these containers on hand so that some can be kept in the freezer during an outage and some can be placed in the refrigerator. With their bulk and density they may be able to extend the quality of your food by a few hours. You might make some smaller containers to position close to certain foods. Keeping a gallon or two of water in the refrigerator will also add some extra coldness.
3) You may want to avoid losing work that you are doing on your home computer. It may be worth investing in an uninterruptible power supply. A UPS takes over in the instance of a loss of power so that unsaved work is not lost.

No comments: