Here in the San Ramon Valley , we are blessed with mild winters. Occasionally we will experience a power outage for various reasons – damage to power poles, or an extremely windy storm. As winter approaches, it is a good idea to review the steps of what to do in the event of a power outage. Being prepared can make a difficult wait easier.
Our local news and weather broadcasters keep us informed in the event of an upcoming storm or anticipated power outages as a result. If there is a chance this could happen, here are some ways to be ready:
1. Charge up all your electronic gadgets – phones, tablets, laptops, ipods. As we’ve all come to rely on these items, being without them can be agonizing, and if you are using them for work, costly.
2. Get out your candles and flashlights. Be sure the batteries are good and that you have matches or a lighter available for the candles. A battery powered radio is very helpful to hear of any updates on the situation that caused the outage.
3. Keep the phone number (and your account number ) of your utility provider handy. If there is an outage, report it as soon as possible. They may also be able to give you an idea of when power will be restored. Look out at neighboring houses – are they out as well? This may be a great time to interact with your neighbors, and see if anyone needs help.
4. Be sure to review the manual operation of your garage door opener, if you have one. In the event of a power outage, it’s good to be able to get the car out of the garage if needed!
5. Resist the temptation to open the refrigerator and freezer. This will help keep perishables as cold as possible. (Ice Cream for dinner, anyone?) If you like to camp and have a propane stove, here’s a perfect opportunity to use it. Be sure you have a manual can opener handy as well!
6. If there were major appliances in use at the time the power went out, turn them off to help reduce the load on the circuits when power is restored. Consider unplugging your computer to avoid any rogue power surges.
7. Turn off all but one or 2 lights that were on when the power went out. That way you will know when it’s been restored.
8. If the local movie theater or shopping mall has power, head over there. It can be a pleasant way to pass some time during an outage.
9. Where applicable, have the fireplace ready to use in the event of an outage at night or during cold weather.
10. Enjoy the adventure! This can often be a great opportunity to play a board game or read a book. Notice what the house sounds like when there is no hum of the fridge or blare of the TV.The quiet can be very enjoyable!
While power outages can be inconvenient and frustrating at times, they can also have unexpected benefits. If you are able to prepare for one in advance due to an oncoming storm, the outage can be an fun experience! Call or email us today, and let us empower you if you are ready to buy or sell a home.