The National Preparedness Community
The power grid consists of a set of large power plants connected together by wires. It works well as a power-distribution system because it allows for energy sharing. Interestingly, there is no storage in the system. As power is demanded by consumers, that same amount is generated and distributed. This works great until there is a failure in part of the system that other parts can’t fill in. Then they fail and a domino effect leaves a large area in the dark.
Follow these tips to be prepared for a blackout:
- Practice energy conservation measures to reduce electricity usage, acquire flashlights and batteries, solar lights, candles or oil lamps for lighting & alternative cooking devices (like a Sun Oven®.)
- Always have a large cooler and a supply of ice on hand. Fill plastic containers with water and store them frozen. Leave space for expansion. These can be used to keep food chilled and then as drinking water when they have thawed.
- Store additional containers of water for long term use. One gallon per person per day is recommended.
- Create a general emergency preparedness kit with a first-aid kit, personal hygiene items, flashlights, copies of important documents, emergency contact telephone numbers, etc. Include extra medicines.
- Keep your car gas tank at least half full at all times.
- Keep a key to your house with you if you regularly enter from your garage, because the electric door opener will not work.
- Keep any generator activity well ventilated to avoid CO poisoning.
Billie Nicholson, editor
- “Blackouts.” Ready America.http://www.ready.gov/america/beinformed/blackout.html
- Brain, Marshall. “How Power Grids Work.” HowStuffWorks.http://www.howstuffworks.com/power.htm
- “Power Outage Checklist.” American Red Cross.http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.86f46a12f382290517a8f210b80f78a0/?vgnextoid=4b0d6b9128c2b110VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCRD&vgnextfmt=default