Electricity is always there for us. From keeping the lights on to running important "background" tasks like maintaining a steady Wi-Fi signal, we're often unaware of how electricity touches all aspects of our lives. That is, until something happens, like a severe storm hits and the power goes out.
And during an extended power interruption, life becomes disruptive to homeowners, especially the elderly, families with young children and those who work from home. Unexpected events remind us that it's easy to take the systems and routines in our lives for granted. Situations such as these remind us of the importance of being proactive and prepared.
So, what will you do if a storm hits or the electrical grid fails and the lights go out? How will you get through a prolonged power outage? If you don't have an answer for that, don't panic. You have plenty of time to get ready.
To help you prepare and keep your family safe and comfortable during a power outage, keep these important tips handy from the power experts at KOHLER Generators.
- Trim back trees or branches: During a storm, these can break and fall on electrical lines leading to your home. Before you start trimming away overhanging branches, consult with your local power company to ensure everyone's safety. Never, ever touch a downed electrical line.
- Invest in battery-powered lighting: Sure, we all make use of the light that comes with our smartphone. But you don't want to rely on that as your lighting source during a power outage, or you'll drain the battery. Head to your local hardware store and pick up two or three flashlights, along with a battery-powered lantern as a hands-free way to illuminate dark rooms. Keep plenty of extra batteries on hand.
- Extinguish candles: Don't use kerosene lamps, candles or anything that requires an open flame for lighting. These can cause a fire hazard.
- Keep it charged: To keep your computers and smart devices working throughout the outage, purchase battery packs and power banks. This backup will let you maintain a connection to information, updates and loved ones.
- Stay in the know: Bad weather can hit with little to no warning. That's why it's a good idea to pick up a weather radio. When a severe storm approaches, you'll be alerted to take shelter.
- Get a back-up power source: Consider investing in an automatic standby generator to power your home. A standby unit has the ability to power all your major systems and appliances, including a refrigerator, lights, heating and cooling systems, Wi-Fi router, sump pump and home security system. In fact, having a permanently installed generator connected to your home's electrical system can be a lifesaver. Much like a central air conditioner, an automatic standby generator is housed outside, and runs on natural gas or liquid propane.
Standby generators from Kohler kick in automatically, usually in a matter of seconds, so everything in your home is back up and running even when a storm interrupts your source of power. And it has the capacity to keep going, as long as the outage lasts, because its powerful, industrial engine can handle heavy loads and is protected by a corrosion-resistant housing. You'll also love the quiet operation and the ability to monitor and control the unit with a tablet or smartphone.
"An automatic standby generator provides great peace of mind because you'll always have safe, reliable power during an outage - no matter how long it may last," said Ed Del Grande, a home improvement expert and author. "When the lights go out in your neighborhood, you'll be an oasis for your family, friends and neighbors in need."