Surviving Power Outages During a Storm

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A stormy season of power outages

Intense Storms

This summer brings intense storm systems—and a season of power outages. Don’t wait for the next storm! Be in the know and be prepared.

Why So Stormy?

There’s a reason why July’s Moon is called the “Thunder Moon.” In summer, thunderstorms are frequent!

As the summer Sun heats up Earth’s surface, warm and moist surface air begins to rise to clash with cold air in the upper atmosphere. A wind or front mixes warm and cold air, causing instability. With the right ingredients, some storms become severe. 

From 2016 through 2017, weather has been more extreme than usual, with swings in low and high temperatures and record flooding. In fact, we have had what you might call a record number of weather records!

Intense summer storms are creating a weather battleground across most of North America.

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Quick Tips to Prepare for Power Outages

Have you had power outages? Here are a few quick tips to prepare for summer storms:

  1. Do you know where your electric panel is? Do you know how to reset circuit breakers after an outage? If the power goes out, also turn off any major appliances (TVs, microwaves) to avoid overloading the power system when it returns. Consider adding surge protectors. Leave one light switch on.
  2. Everyone should have a disaster kit to be prepared for the worst storms. Include a flashlight, fresh batteries, cash, water and canned food. Make sure your first aid kit and all your medications are current. You should also have a list of emergency phone numbers. See our suggestions on what to keep in an emergency supply kit.
  3. Keep your cell phones and battery-operated devices charged up if a storm is forecasted. Have alternative charging methods for phones ready if the power goes out. Sign up for FEMA text messages (text PREPARE to 4FEMA).
  4. Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed during a blackout to avoid spoiled food.
  5. Have a backup home generator. A standby generator automatically turns on during a blackout to keep the lights on, food and medicine from spoiling, the heat or A/C running, and medical devices operating. It’s important you have a generator that can handle your power needs, too. Cummins Home Generators has a handy free evaluation to figure out how much power you use—and need.
  6. Avoid going outside during a power outage. You often risk falling trees and dangerous downed power lines that may have live electricity running through them. All it takes is a tree branch on a power line to knock out utility services. Again, having a backup generator on hand is a good idea for riding out the storm.

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How to Evaluate Your Home Generator Needs

Always use generators away from your home and never run a generator inside a home or garage or connect it to your electrical systems. 

The folks at Cummins not only offer a free calculator to estimate your home’s generator’s needs, but also will send out a Cummins representative to help you find the generator that’s right for your home. (Cummins are the folks who provide backup power to places like the Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore, so they are a trusted leader in generators!)

Click here to evaluate your home’s generator needs.

We hope this article has helped you get ready for the next storm.  As the Boy Scouts say, “Be Prepared!” 

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