What to Do During an Outage

Jun 14, 2023 | Good to Know, Seasonal Fun

In the great state of Texas, we can face unpredictable weather and occasional power outages. Hurricanes, storm conditions, flash floods — all of it can lead to power outages that disrupt both the electrical service and our lives. When the lights go out, it’s time to shine a light on the actions we can take to ensure our safety, comfort, and peace of mind.

In this article, we’ll guide you through essential steps and helpful tips on what to do in the event of a power outage Texas-style, especially with hurricane season approaching. So, saddle up, and let’s prepare to weather any storm!

Preparing for Stormy Weather

The Lone Star State is no stranger to severe weather events, but by preparing ahead of time, you can minimize the inconvenience to you and your family. Let’s look at some of the most impactful actions you can take to put yourself in a position of readiness if a power outage occurs.

Create a Plan

In a power outage, having a well-prepared plan can make all the difference. Start by creating a family emergency plan that outlines what each family member should do during an outage. Establish communication channels, such as designated meeting points or emergency contact numbers, to ensure everyone stays connected. Identify safe areas in your home where you can gather during the outage, away from potential hazards.

Practicing your plan regularly is an excellent way to ensure everyone in your household knows what to do and where to go during a power outage. Conduct drills to familiarize family members with the emergency plan, including the location of emergency supplies and how to operate alternative power sources safely.

Keep an Emergency Kit Handy

Having the necessary supplies on hand is a must for extended outages. Create an emergency kit with essential items such as nonperishable food, bottled water, a first aid kit, blankets, extra batteries, a battery-powered radio, and a manual can opener. Keep your emergency kit in an area of your home that’s easily accessible to everyone in the family. Make it a point to routinely check and update the contents of your emergency kit as needed.

Look Into Alternate Sources of Power

One often overlooked aspect of outage preparedness is having alternate sources of power. Battery-operated lamps and flashlights should be readily available and easily accessible. Keep them in designated places throughout your home, such as near the main entrance or bedrooms, so they can be quickly located when needed.

Consider investing in a generator as a backup power source. Depending on their size, generators can provide enough electricity to power a few devices or even your entire home. However, it’s vital to familiarize yourself with generators’ proper operation and safety guidelines well before an outage occurs.

Don’t Panic — Keeping Calm in the Darkness

Alright, so when power outages happen, it’s natural to feel a sense of unease or uncertainty. But if you prepare like we discussed above, then you’re ready for outages. It’s time to put your plan into action and weather the storm.

Get Your Supplies

Once the power goes out, retrieve your emergency kit from its designated location and place it in a central area of your home for easy access. Gather your family and explain the contents of the kit. Distribute flashlights to ensure everyone has a reliable light source. Encourage everyone to conserve battery power.  

Ration your nonperishable food and bottled water to ensure everyone has an adequate supply. Plan meals that require minimal cooking or heating, utilizing canned foods and snacks from your emergency kit. If using a portable camping stove or grill, ensure proper ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide buildup indoors. Remember never to use these devices inside your home.

Stay Informed

In a power outage, staying informed about the situation is vital. Use a battery-powered radio to tune in to local news or emergency broadcasts to stay informed about the duration of the outage, expected restoration times, and any safety instructions provided by authorities.

Another valuable resource to stay informed during an outage is weather apps on your smartphone or tablet. These can provide real-time weather updates, severe weather alerts, and storm tracking, informing you of potential weather-related issues that may impact power restoration. 

Official websites, such as the website of your local utility company or government agency, often provide outage maps, restoration timelines, and important safety tips. Bookmark these websites in advance, so you can easily access them when needed. Sign up for text or email alerts from the utility company for outage notifications and updates to your phone.

Take Care of Yourself

Power outages are disruptive, but it’s just a matter of time before service is restored. So, try to maintain perspective and a positive mindset. Share jokes or funny anecdotes to lighten the mood and create a positive atmosphere. Activities like playing board games, telling stories, or enjoying a candlelit dinner are a good way to lift spirits. If your phone is charged and service is available, call a friend for emotional support and a sense of togetherness.

Taking care of your well-being is essential every day, but especially during difficult events like a power outage. Stay hydrated and well-rested, and try to maintain a routine. If the weather permits, spend time outdoors to get fresh air and natural light. Use the experience of being “unplugged” as an opportunity to be fully present in calming activities such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga to reduce stress and promote relaxation.

Familiarize Yourself With Help Resources 

In Texas, we look out for one another. During a power outage, local community centers or churches often offer services, and some may provide free meals or entertainment activities to help ease the impact of the outage. Stay connected with local emergency assistance programs, community organizations, and government agencies for resources and information.

Watch for food distribution centers that may offer supplies to those affected by the outage. These centers can provide essential items to help you get through the period without power. Stay informed about emergency relief programs that assist with temporary housing options or financial support.

Remember, you are not alone during a power outage. Reach out to your neighbors, friends, and community members for support. Together, we can navigate through the challenges and come out stronger. Stay connected with local news updates and official channels for the latest information on available resources and assistance.

Shine Bright, Texas!

Power outages may dim the lights, but they can never extinguish the resilient spirit of Texas. By being prepared, informed, and resourceful, you can confidently navigate through any power outage that comes your way. At Energy Texas, we’re here to support you every step of the way, providing reliable electricity service and helpful information for staying safe no matter what Mother Nature may bring!

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