ERIE, Pa., June 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Power outages can occur at any time — and they're almost always unexpected. Severe storms, high winds, utility equipment failure and even increased electricity consumption on a hot sunny day can cause a power outage at home.
Erie Insurance offers five steps you can take now so you'll be more comfortable – and less panicked — when the power goes out.
Prep for a possible emergency.While most power outages last no more than a few hours, those caused by natural disasters and storms can last for days. For that reason, first make sure your family is prepared to handle a worst-case scenario by compiling an emergency kit and creating an emergency action plan.
Consider investing in a back-up method of heating food. It's helpful to have a means of heating food that doesn't depend on electricity. Some options include a camping stove or barbeque grill. You can also manually ignite a gas stove — just make sure you have matches and know the proper technique. Of course, only use grills, generators and other carbon producing items outside. These items can produce carbon monoxide, which can be deadly if used indoors.
Know how to stay cool (or warm). Stay out of the sun, seek shade and wear light colors to remain cool in hot weather. Bundle up in layers and stay indoors to keep warm when you're dealing with cooler weather. If you heat or cool your home with a method that doesn't depend on electricity, make sure you have plenty of wood, newspapers and/or fuel stocked away.
Don't drink the tap water. When the power goes out, water purification systems may not be functioning. So fill up your tub with water — just don't use it for cooking or cleaning without first purifying it. If you've run out of bottled or distilled water, boil or disinfect tap water first. Bring water to a rolling boil for at least one minute. If you don't have a heating source, bring out the bleach. Add eight drops of bleach to a gallon of clear water (or 16 drops if your water is cloudy). Let it sit for at least 30 minutes before drinking.
Know what food is safe to eat. In an emergency, you should have nonperishable food items stocked and stored. But what about the food in your refrigerator—will it still be any good during or after the power outage? Avoid opening refrigerator and freezer doors if you can. This will keep the cool air in for as long as possible. A full freezer will safely hold food for 48 hours while a half-full freezer will safely hold food for up to 24 hours.
Erie Insurance Group According to A.M. Best Company, Erie Insurance Group, based in Erie, Pennsylvania, is the 9th largest homeowners insurer and 12th largest automobile insurer in the United States based on direct premiums written and the 16th largest property/casualty insurer in the United States based on total lines net premium written. The Group, rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best Company, has more than 5 million policies in force and operates in 12 states and the District of Columbia. Erie Insurance Group is a FORTUNE 500 company.