Blackouts: How to be prepared (and what to do!)

Preparing for a blackout

When storms hit the North Shore, it’s good to know that you’re prepared for a blackout! We’ve put together a list of suggestions from mums (and official sources) about how to be prepared and what to stock up on…

Preparing for a blackout

Pack and store a blackout ’emergency kit’:

An Emergency Kit can help save precious time in an emergency situation and is a must have when preparing for a blackout. It provides items you might need if you lose power or need to leave your home in a hurry. Here are some items recommended by official sites and as well as ideas from mums across the North Shore.

Suggestions for useful things to keep in your kit:

  • A portable phone charger or portable battery for your phone
  • Battery-operated lantern or light (with batteries)
  • More spare batteries!
  • Plug-in rechargeable torches
  • Gas stove and spare gas canisters
  • Camping kettle and / or thermos
  • Portable radio with spare batteries
  •  First aid kit (with supplies necessary for your household)
  •  Candles and waterproof matches
  • Non-perishable food and water (two minute noodles, corn thins, water bottles)

On a regular basis, check your emergency kit (remember to check use-by dates on batteries and gloves) and restock items if you need to.

More preparation ahead of time:

  • Make alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices
  • If safe, have a plan to travel to an alternate location for heat or cooling
  • Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity
  • Sign up for local alerts and warning systems and monitor weather reports
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home
  • Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and refrigerated medicines.  Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life
  • Buy batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out
  • Maintain food supplies that do not require refrigeration, have enough nonperishable food and water

During a blackout

After a blackout:

  • When in doubt, throw it out! Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40 degrees or higher for two hours or more, or that has an unusual odour, colour or texture.
  • If the power is out for more than a day, discard any medication that should be refrigerated, unless the drug’s label says otherwise. If a life depends on the refrigerated drugs, consult a doctor or pharmacist and use medicine only

For more info in a blackout, report the outage online or call 13 13 88


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