Preparing for Power Outages

Nov 11, 2020, 1:47 PM

Be ready before, during, and after a bad storm.

If you know Hastings Mutual at all, you know we offer coverage for your home, your car, your business, and your farm. When we’re talking about home insurance, we look at 16 different kinds of peril that put your property at risk, among other things.

Something else a peril like a windstorm can do is knock out your power. In our part of the country we’re all familiar with massive, rain-soaked thunderstorms and heavy snowfall that shuts down electricity for a few hours to a few days, depending on the severity. What do you do if there’s a power outage?

Hopefully it’s not too much of a concern; maybe you’re able to just call it an early night since there’s no TV to watch. Or you have a generator on hand and can get back to normal right away. No matter how long the power is out, you need to be ready for a long emergency. 

Cold Woman

You probably know what to do to be prepared for an emergency — if you have a generator, you’re off to a great start — but the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Administration has a few ideas, too.

Prepare Now

  • Monitor the weather on TV, the radio, or online. You can double-check your supplies long before a storm strikes, and make sure everyone in your family knows what they need to do if there is an outage.
  • Don’t forget the basics like flashlights and extra batteries. You probably have these things somewhere in your house — but can you grab them at a moment’s notice? 
  • Review your medicine. If your life depends on a medication, talk to your doctor before there’s an emergency. Is there another drug option for you? What if your medical device needs electricity to operate?

Survive During

  • Do what you can to be safe and healthy. Obviously, the power going out during a harsh winter storm isn’t the best outcome. But simple things like blankets and coats can help keep your body at an appropriate temperature. 
  • Turn off electronics. Avoid a power surge when the electricity is restored. Shutting off everything you can will prevent damage to TVs, appliances, and other expensive devices.

Be Safe After

  • Restock your supplies. If you need new batteries or more fresh water, get them when you’re able. After experiencing a power outage, you’ll know more about what you need so you can be ready for the next one.
  • Check your food. FEMA recommends disposing of any refrigerated food that has been exposed to temperatures of 40 degrees or higher for two hours or longer. Cold food that warms up may also show discoloration, odors, or a have a bad taste — get rid of it immediately. 
  • Check your neighbors, too. Make sure everyone nearby is OK, and can get the supplies they need so they’re prepared for another power outage when the nasty weather strikes again.

Questions? Let us know in the comments.

The Mutual Understanding blog and Hastings Mutual videos are made available for educational purposes only. The information referred to is not an official company statement, corporate policy, or offer of coverage. Refer to your insurance policy for specific coverage. There is no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of any information found by following any link on this site. Please contact your local independent insurance agent with further questions and for more details on any insurance policy-related information you read here.

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