Ways to be Prepared in Case of Power Outages
The Delaware and New Jersey area sees enough power outages to make planning ahead for them well worth your time. Take steps to protect yourself and your home, and a power outage will be little more than a minor inconvenience.
Plan Ahead to Stay Safe
Put together a power outage kit that includes a flashlight, battery-operated radio (ideally a NOAA weather radio), a first-aid kit, a 3-day supply of food and water, and family and emergency contact information.
Insulate your pipes to prevent them from freezing when your home is left without heat. Turning on the taps to let a trickle of water flow through also helps. For an outage expected to last days, the plumbing system and water heater should be drained.
Monitor your basement for flooding, which is a risk when it’s raining heavily, but the sump pump isn’t running due to the power outage. Consider investing in a gas-powered sump pump for this situation. Don’t enter a flooded basement unless power to the area has been shut off at the breaker.
Protect Your HVAC System
Power fluctuations can damage your A/C and a sudden loss of electricity poses a small risk of carbon monoxide leakage from your furnace. To avoid these dangers, shut down your heating or cooling system if you notice the lights flickering and expect an outage. If a severe weather front is headed your way, shut the system off at the breaker and unplug it. This will minimize damage should the equipment be struck by lightening.
Even if you’re not able to shut the system down before the power goes out, do so afterward so the system isn’t hit with a surge when the power comes back. A power surge could destroy the motor. Wait at least 5 minutes after the power returns to turn it on again.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues – especially HVAC and plumbing issues – so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.