How To Prepare For Power Outages

Preparing For Power Outages

As our community grows so does the pressure on our existing power infrastructure. Southern Utah residents have enjoyed a very reliable and stable power grid, but power companies in Southern Utah are beginning to notify customers that scheduled blackouts may be coming.

In the event of a scheduled blackout or extended power outage everyone needs to be able to answer the following questions?

  • How will you keep cool?
  • How will you keep your food cold and unspoiled?
  • How will you keep your essential medical appliances powered?
  • How will you keep your Wi-Fi, home security systems, cell phones and other essential electronics powered?
  • Who do you know that may need additional assistance during a power outage?

Too often we fail to plan for future emergencies. We often think “Sure, emergencies happen but not here in Utah.” “Sure, earthquakes happen in other parts of the world, but they don’t happen here.” Or, more relevant to this blog post we may thing. “Yeah sure, blackouts do happen but only in California or really big cities; the only way our power is going out is if the wind knocks down a powerline.”

When it comes to a power outage emergency it isn’t a matter of if—but, of when and for how long.

The reality of unforeseen emergencies hit home for me last week on June 24, 2022. My household woke up like normal, went to work like normal, came home for lunch like normal, everything was normal until we returned home after work. The temperature in our home was not our preferred 72 degrees…. it was a sweltering 95 degrees! 95 degrees inside!!!

Sometime between 1pm and 5:30pm our central air conditioner broke.

You don’t have to be an HVAC professional to see that something is seriously wrong with that equipment! The wires are melted, and something important blew up, and refrigerant coolant is leaking all over the place.

When you come home from work on a Friday and your house it 95 degrees and almost all of the HVAC companies in town are closed until Monday your heart sinks. It sinks even more when you realize that even if HVAC companies were available immediately to confirm it was broken, they wouldn’t be able to replace the equipment the same day. Equipment will need to be ordered. Home warranty hoops will have to be jumped through…. this nightmare could last for a week, or maybe even two weeks. ☹

Counting My Powered Blessings.

Yes, it is a huge inconvenience that our HVAC system broke. It is super uncomfortable being in a house that is 95 degrees. In fact, it is so uncomfortable that we haven’t slept in the home since the breakdown. But then I stopped and started to count my blessings: We still have power. We have family / friends that are willing to let us crash at their place. Our refrigerators and freezers still work. Our food is staying cold. I can soak a rag in ice water and drink ice cold lemonade. We can turn on fans to move some air around. We can still do our laundry. We can still charge our electric vehicle. My essential medical devices are still working. I can watch TV, charge my cell phone, and complain about how hard my life is on social media.

Things would be so much worse without electricity.

Which got me thinking? What would my family do in the event of rolling blackouts or an extended power outage?

Creating An Emergency Power Plan: Questions to Ask.

  • Does anyone in the home require medical devices? (Oxygen condensers, CPAP machines, electric scooters, electric stair climbers, powered recliners or medical beds, etc.?
  • Are there medications that must be kept cold?
  • Is my only phone a cell phone? What happens when it runs out of battery? How will I communicate with my friends and family?
  • Where can I go to stay comfortable and be able to use my essential medical devices?

Take a candid inventory of your unique situation. And, then ask yourself the following question-- Who do I know that may need additional assistance when the power goes out? The elderly and children are particularly at risk because they are often a bit dehydrated anyway and don’t recognize how hot and dehydrated, they are getting until they become seriously dehydrated. Ask and answer the same questions above except from a loved one’s point of view. In the event of an extended power outage don’t wait for your friends and family to ask you for help. Be proactive and simply help. Deliver water. Invite them into your home. Bring buy a few bags of ice to keep their food and medicines cold. We are all a little stubborn and resist asking for help even when we need it.

Southern Utah is awesome because of the community. We all want our neighbors to be happy, healthy, and comfortable.

Identify Available Resources

Community Resources:

Hospitals have backup generators and will remain comfortable during extended power outages. Most grocery stores have backup generators and will remain comfortable during extended power outages. Restaurants if they are open will have their AC units turned on. Fire departments and police stations have backup generators and will be a safe place during an extended power outage.

Personal Network Resources

Does a family member have solar panels installed with daylight backup or a battery? Do you or one of your neighbors have a back-up generator installed? Who in your network has a portable generator that you might be able to borrow to keep the contents of your deep freeze frozen? Do you have an inverter that can turn your car into a generator to keep your refrigerator cold?

Our Team Can Help You Get Prepared

The HedgeHog Electric is your local and trusted experts when it comes to upgrading to solar or getting whole home backup generator installed. We are here to help you. We offer free solar consultations.

If you want a whole home backup generator consultation, we will dispatch a licensed electrician to inspect your home electrical system, take necessary measurements to give you an accurate quote, and do a complete home electrical safety inspection for just $69. Call us today to schedule an appointment! (866) 605-2113.