What To Do When The Power Goes Out

It’s that time of year for snow and freezing temperatures in the Seattle area. It’s important to be prepared for potential power outages. Northwest Mechanical knows emergencies happen, especially when you least expect them, but being prepared can help reduce the stress of the situation and help keep you and your family safe and comfortable.  Here are some tips to help you prepare for possible power outages in your home.

According to www.Ready.Gov, preparing before an outage is the most important step. This step is easily looked over but is essential in many emergency situations.

Preparing for a power outage:

  • Keep your gas tank full at all times, especially if bad weather is in the forecast. Gas station pumps run off electricity and won't be available.
  • Charge your cellphones and any backup charging methods.
  • Have an emergency preparedness kit available for quick use. This includes flashlights, batteries, canned food, water, cash, and first aid kits.
  • Find out where any emergency shelters or plans are in your area.
  • Have a battery operated radio. With wifi and the cable out, this is the best way to get information about the outage. Be sure to have extra batteries stashed away.
  • If you have an electric garage door, know how to manually open it.  The release cord to manually open the door is usually located near the motor.  

During Power Outage

  • Call your local utility company. Report the power outage in your home or area. They can also give you an approximate timing of how long the outage will be.
  • Use flashlights, headlamps or lanterns as candles can cause a fire.
  • Disconnect appliances and anything plugged into your outlets. This can prevent a surge to your electrical items. Also, consider buying surge protectors.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Refrigerators can stay cool for about 4 hours, while a freezer can stay cool for 48 hours.
  • If it’s cold outside, put on warm layers of clothing. If there is a prolonged outage, plan on going somewhere that has heat and electricity such as a friend or relative’s house. Malls, movie theatres or hotels are also great places to go.
  • Do not use a wood, charcoal or gas grill indoors!  Carbon monoxide, dangerous fumes, from grills can be very dangerous, even deadly.  

Northwest Mechanical is here to help. If you need any advice on what to do with your heating or cooling systems before or after an outage, please give us a call. We are more than happy to help. Have a great winter season!

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