When a storm starts to howl overhead, all you want to do is ensure your family and property are safe. Living in Pennsylvania, we know that a storm can occur any time of the year — be it a winter snowstorm, a summer or fall thunderstorm, or spring rain and flooding.
In all cases, there are a few steps you can take to prepare your home and family for a storm and be ready if your water and power go out. We’ve put together a list of what to do if you lose power during a storm so that you can be confident you’ve thought of everything and are ready for any storm Mother Nature has up her sleeve.
Preparation Is Key
By the time the bad weather hits, it’s too late to prepare. When you know significant weather is coming, you can make extra preparations, but there are some preparations you can make now so you’re always ready.
Despite the unique nature of summer versus winter storms, many of the preparations are similar. No matter which season you’re in, be ready for adverse weather with some of these tips:
- Have non-perishable food handy: Most storms don’t last long, but it never hurts to have some non-perishable food on hand. Keep your cupboards stocked with canned goods, dry foods and bottles of juice and baby formula if you have children. Remember to have a hand can opener available — an electric opener won’t work if the power goes off!
- Stock drinking water: It is always a good idea to have a sizeable stock of drinking water on hand. Storms, flooding and power outages can contaminate drinking water or affect your municipalities’ water delivery services. If a storm is approaching, you can also fill a bathtub, buckets and containers to have water available for cooking and washing until the regular supply comes back on.
- Prepare your home: In all seasons, you want to be sure the exterior of your home, your roof and your doors and windows are all in good repair. Make sure all shingles, siding and panels are well attached and that your doors and windows seal properly. In the case of a wind storm, secure all loose items — such as tables, chairs, umbrellas, etc. — or move them to a garage or basement.
These general tips will help ensure your home and family are protected and have the supplies they need in case a storm hits, and you can’t leave your home for awhile.
What To Do When The Power Goes Out
Losing power in a storm can be a big problem. Not only is it inconvenient, depending on the season, but a lack of power can be a major issue for you and your family. The problems can vary from winter to summer:
- Winter: The biggest risk during winter storms is being unable to heat your home. If the power goes out for more than a few hours, the temperature in your house can drop. This will affect your family and can also cause pipes to freeze if it gets cold enough. Snow buildup can block your doors, garage and driveway, which is why it’s important to continually remove snow as it falls and drifts. If a winter storm is severe enough, you may not be able to leave your home and get to the store for supplies for several days.
- Summer: Your home cooling system will not work, which can be an issue for small children, the elderly or the sick. You may need to move these members of your family to a cool, dry place such as a basement or high-ceilinged room if the temperature rises. Summer storms that bring a lot of rain can cause flooding in your home if you have an electric sump pump that doesn’t work. Wind and rain storms can cause serious damage to the exterior of your home as well, ripping off shingles, siding and eaves troughs.
One of the best ways to avoid many of these problems is to equip your home with a reliable backup generator. A generator can keep your lights and heat on when the main power grid goes out. A generator can also allow you to power and recharge your phones and communication devices, allowing you to stay in contact with family and friends during the storm. If you use a portable generator make sure you never bring it inside your home or garage as CO can build up and cause harm to you or your family.
Be sure to check out our residential generator solutions.
We will discuss your requirements and help you determine the right size and type of backup generator that is required to keep your family safe and comfortable during any type of storm. We have manual and automatic generators as well as models suitable for commercial properties and buildings. Take some time to get ready now instead of waiting for a summer or winter storm to strike while you’re unprepared.