No one enjoys power outages. Whether they last several hours or multiple days, power outages pose a major interruption to everyday life. Unfortunately, planned safety power shutoffs (PSPS) have become more common than ever in California as part of PG&E’s fire safety efforts. While we can’t control the frequency of PSPS, we can keep life running a little more smoothly and pleasantly with these power outage hacks.
1. How to prepare your grill and propane tank – Keep your grill and propane tank full for when you anticipate power outages. Put together a list of meals that can easily be cooked or reheated on a grill, and make sure to use up the most perishable ingredients first.
2. How to keep your kids entertained – For the little ones in your house, the power outage can feel more like an adventure than an inconvenience! As parents, this can be a great chance to turn screens off and explore creative games and play. Keep kids entertained with a stash of boardgames, toys, and storybooks. Get creative with activities such as puppet shows, pillow forts, glow stick tag, Playdough and clay creations, and indoor camping.
3. How to prepare your phone – To start with, make sure to put your phone on low battery mode during a power outage, and when not in use, turn on airplane mode to preserve as much battery life as possible. Since you won’t be able to use WiFi anyway, connect your phone to your laptop battery, or charge your phone in your car. Keep emergency portable phone chargers ready to go.
4. How to create emergency lighting –Did you know you can create quick, emergency lighting with just a milk jug and a headlamp? Simply rinse and fill the empty milk jug with water, then strap the headlamp onto the jug facing inward. The water inside the milk jug will refract the light and create a mini floodlight effect, which will better illuminate a wide space than the spotlight from the headlamp by itself.
5. How to make homemade ice packs – Freeze water in a gallon milk jug to use as an extra ice pack in your cooler and/or makeshift washer freezer. Easy and effective!
6. How to use bubble wrap as insulation – If a power outage occurs during cold weather, use bubble wrap to insulate cracks around your home's windows and doors in order to trap as much heat inside as possible.
7. How to prepare for hygiene – Stock up on disinfectant wipes for surfaces and hand sanitizer and baby wipes for personal hygiene.
8. How to keep your kids entertained – For the little ones in your house, the power outage can feel more like an adventure than an inconvenience! As parents, this can be a great chance to turn screens off and explore creative games and play. Keep kids entertained with a stash of boardgames, toys, and storybooks. Get creative with activities such as puppet shows, pillow forts, glow stick tag, Playdough and clay creations, and indoor camping.
9. How to prepare a standby power source – Keep power in your home going by installing a standby home generator. Home generators can be gas, propane, or solar power fueled.
10. How to stay informed – Keep a battery-powered or hand-crank radio on hand to hear local news and emergency alerts.
Would you like to learn more about setting up an energy efficient backup power system for your home or business to deal with PSPS in Northern California? Contact our team for a consultation to discuss potential solutions.