Late spring and summer weather in Upstate South Carolina can be a little… stormy. As the heat builds during the day, thunderstorms become more and more common in the afternoon and evening. While the cooling rain is welcome, the occasional power outages or floodwaters that come as a side effect of severe weather are not. We have a few tips to help you stay safe when lights go off.
- Have a plan. Make sure you have a plan for dealing with severe weather, and that everyone in the family knows it. If you or a member of your family have special needs that require access to electricity, you may want to have an evacuation plan in place in case of an extended loss of power. Choose a safe place with access to what you need, and map out two or three different routes so you can get there even if the roads are affected. Everyone should have an evacuation plan – you never know what could happen, and should a power line come down or a flash flood occur, you may need to leave very quickly.
- Set up your Power Outage Safety Kit. If the power goes out at night, it can be rough stumbling around trying to find everything you need. If you keep everything in one cabinet, then you don’t have to waste time and energy pulling it together during bad weather. Designate one spot as the Power Outage Kit area and keep the following ready to use – unscented candles, extra flashlight batteries, matches or lighters, safe drinking water, at least one meal’s worth of non-perishable food (to keep you from having to open the refrigerator, risking spoiling your food), a can opener, a list of important phone numbers, and a copy of your family’s important documents. This last part may seem like overkill, but if you find yourself having to leave home quickly, it’s always worth having what you need on hand.
- Keep a flashlight in every room. You don’t want to be stepping on the dog or those Legos left out on the floor in the middle of the night when you can’t turn the lights on. Make sure every person has a flashlight in their bedroom, and keep one handy in your living areas and the kitchen as well. That way, when the power goes out you’re only a few steps from being able to see clearly again.
- Unplug your appliances! When the power goes out, don’t just wait for it to come back on. Power can return in surges, which can damage expensive appliances that aren’t prepared for it, even if you use surge protectors. Take a quick walk around your house and unplug everything you possibly can – computer, television, any electronics, even things like floor or sidetable lamps. That way you don’t risk losing, say, all the photos on your hard drive if the power is spotty and the computer has to restart too many times too quickly. Once the power returns, wait five to ten minutes before plugging everything back in.
- Make sure you can access news updates and contact loved ones. While cell phones are fantastic, their batteries can run down. If you forgot to charge your phone and the power goes out for an extended amount of time, you may find yourself scrambling for updates. Keeping a battery-powered radio on hand can allow you to check the news, and you can buy battery-powered cell phone chargers that will allow you to charge your cell phone without having access to electrical power. If you have a landline phone, make sure at least one of them doesn’t require electricity to operate.
As we head into Upstate South Carolina’s “thunderstorm season”, the possibility of a power outage becomes more and more likely Following these tips will help you stay safe and prepared to wait out the power outage until the lights come back on and life can get back to normal. Make sure your electrical system is ready by giving Corley a call at (864) 517 – 1251 (or contact us online!) to schedule an appointment and get your Spring Tune-up! We can check your systems and make sure everything is running efficiently, and take care of any small problems now, leaving you in a much better place to take on the weather ahead.