You're sitting at home watching TV, and all of a sudden the screen shuts off, the lights go out, and now you're sitting in darkness. It will probably last a few minutes. It will come back on in a couple of hours at the most, right? What if it doesn't? What if you are without power for days, or even weeks?
What do you do?
Most of the time, a quick lapse in electricity service occurs from a downed power line on a sunny day. It won't take your local utilities company long to fix it and you should be back to normal in no time. However, if something big happens, and the source of your home's electricity is disabled for days due to a bad storm, attack, or malfunction, you need to be prepared for it.
Here are some things you can do to prepare for this situation:
Put together a "Go Bag." This bag should contain anything you might need to survive on your own for at least 3 days. Included within the bag should be nonperishable food, drinking water, an emergency battery-powered or hand-crank weather radio, first aid kit, a local map, a flashlight, batteries, and more. For more information on building a bag, click here.
Have a plan. Contact nearby friends or family ahead of time, in case you may need to stay with them during an extended outage. You should have somebody nearby and far enough away that they may not be affected by a widespread outage, but close enough that you can easily travel to them.
If you have a portable generator, NEVER use it inside your home. Generators must be placed outside the home, because they give off harmful gasses which could be fatal if built up in an enclosed area.
For more safety tips about power outages, visit Ready.gov's Power Outage Page