Ways to be prepared for a power outage
Fill the Tub
When the power grid goes down, your city water supply may soon follow, says Tompkin Lee, The Family Handyman field editor. So fill up buckets and bottles with water. Fill ?the bathtub, too. But most drains are not all that tight, and in a few hours all that precious water may be gone. To prevent that, seal the drain with duct tape before you fill the tub.
Turn your car into a generator
A power inverter, which turns DC current from your car into AC current for electric gadgets, is the next best thing to a generator when it comes to surviving a blackout. Small units can recharge your computer or phone. Larger ones can power a fridge or power tools.
Save food with ice
A couple of days without power can cost you a few hundred bucks as food spoils in fridges and freezers. Fill locking freezer bags with water and keep them in the freezer. During a blackout, they’ll help the freezer stay cold longer. Or you can transfer them to the fridge or a cooler. When they thaw, you’ve got drinking water.
Be safe with CO Detector
Blackouts often lead to carbon monoxide deaths. Here’s why: To get heat during outages, people crank up fireplaces, gas stoves, and all types of heaters—and anything that burns produces carbon monoxide. “So I get out a battery-powered CO detector whenever I use an emergency heat source.”
Gas up your car
Your car is a critical part of your survival kit. It’s your emergency transport, your charging? system for cell phones and maybe even the only heated space you’ll have. So keep your tank full before storms. If you have gas cans, fill them, too. When the power is out, gas stations can’t pump gas from their tanks into yours.