How to Prepare for a Power Outage

Research reveals that power outages in the United States are higher than in any developed country. Residents of the upper

Research reveals that power outages in the United States are higher than in any developed country. Residents of the upper Midwest, for example, say that customers experience blackout at an average of 92 minutes every year. In contrast, Japan experiences only 4 minutes of outage every year.

Reading about the recent power outages in Texas reminded me of a few years ago when my home had lost power for nine days during hurricane Irma, except it was unbearably hot and muggy instead of freezing. Either way it was a disaster. Ever since then, I’ve kept a emergency “power outage kit” in my garage. 

Living in Southern Florida, not only do I experience a power outage nearly every time there is a heavy rainstorm, which is quite often, but there’s also a chance that a hurricane, tropical storm, or a falling palm tree takes out my power for days – no that last bit about a palm tree wasn’t a joke, it actually happened in August of last year in West Palm Beach.

My point is that today power outages are becoming more and more common and it seems like there’s an increasing number of things that trigger them. 

In this article, I am going to cover A) what you can do to keep safe during a prolonged power outage, B) how to prepare for a power outage, and C) four solutions to generating your own power so you don’t lose electricity, cooling, or heating during a power outage or rolling blackouts.

Are Power Outages Increasing in the U.S.?

Outages cost an average of about $18 billion to $33 billion per year in the United States, not to mention the hardship and disaster they give to families and homes.

It doesn’t take a scientific genius to see that the U.S. is experiencing an increasing number of power outages. 

Just in the last two years, two of our biggest states have experienced rolling blackouts, something you generally only see in third-world countries. More than two years ago, I covered this subject in an article, Power Outages on the Rise in the U.S. 

Raising my curiosity, I also researched the biggest power outages in U.S. history of which Irma was one, and I wrote a piece about the single biggest power outage that the U.S. had ever experienced: The Biggest Power Outage in U.S. History.  

The above infographic was taken on February 16, 2021, and shows storm data U.S. power outages. power outages can be tracked by visiting

What Can You Do To Stay Safe During a Power Outage?

In our day-to-day drive to achieve more, stay engaged, and keep up with the demands that we call life, we often take electricity for granted. Tet, as our industries expand, as we work to be more productive, and as we grow – collectively as a nation – we at the same time increase our continuous demand for power from an old and aging electrical grid. As a result, our outdated and rundown grid has a hard time keeping up!

During a prolonged power outage safety is a priority, here are a few things you can do to maintain safety:

power outage
  1. Food and water will be one of your primary concerns. Maintain food non-perishable supplies and bottled water. Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed. Your freezer can maintain its temperature for up to 48 hours.
  2. During prolonged power outages, your water may also stop flowing. To prevent a water shortage, fill up your bathtubs, and some buckets with water that you can use to drink or clean with during the outage.
  3. To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, generators, grills, and gas stoves should be used outdoors. Never use a gas stove or oven to try and heat your home.
  4. In cases of extreme weather, go to a community location to stay safe. Your local authorities will usually have these organized.
  5. Store any important medicines in the freezer. If you have any medical machines that require power, contact your primary care doctor to see if battery-powered options exist.
  6. Check with your neighbors and family to ensure they are alright.
  7. If you have battery-powered products, preserve their use for “when needed only”.
  8. Disconnect all major electrical appliances to avoid a power surge when power is restored.

How to Prepare for a Power Outage

power outage
  1. Buy plenty of canned and non-perishable food and bottled water.
  2. Have battery-powered light sources such as flashlights and lanterns, as well as fans or heaters. And have additional batteries for use.
  3. Consider having propane or gas-powered stove or grill with additional supplies to cook with should you not have power for a prolonged period of time. Do not use these to heat your home.
  4. Have a supply of house-hold basics such as toilet paper, tissues, hand sanitizer.
  5. Ensure your car’s gas tank is full.
  6. In the case of extreme weather, hot or cold, ask local authorities for a climate-controlled community center you can go to if needed, they usually have a designated place for this.

How to Create Your Own Power

The best way to prepare for a power outage is to have a way to produce your own power. It sounds kind of obvious but today more and more home and business owners are looking for power generation solutions as well as ways to be able to continue operations despite hiccups in the power grid. 

Here are the four most common ways to generate your own electricity so that you don’t lose power should there be a power outage:

  1. A solar power system and battery backups.
  2. Onsite generation powered by natural gas
  3. Diesel powered generators (not so reliable)
  4. Energy storage inverters and onsite storage systems

I hope that you found this article helpful and informative. If you have any questions about solar power or about behind-the-meter generation solutions for your business please give us a call and speak to one of our certified professional energy managers: (844) 674-5465

James Lightning

James Lightning
Senior Editor, Energy Professionals
(844) 674-5465

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