There’s a lot of fun to be had in a New England winter: snowmen, skiing, pond skating, hot cider, pumpkin pie, wood fires…everyone has their favorites. But there are also the harder aspects of winter, not least the threat of a severe storm that brings down trees and power lines and results in power outages up and down the region. But even an unexpected power outage can be made more manageable if you’re prepared.
In our region, outages have become a routine part of every winter and it’s a good idea to have an emergency kit that contains all you need to keep going in the short-term. So, what should you have in that kit?
• A couple of working flashlights and the appropriate replacement batteries
• One or more long-lasting lanterns, either battery or propane powered
• A few candles with holders (if necessary)
• A propane-fired camping cook stove and at least one, if not two, full gas canisters
• A solar-powered backup battery and charger for a cell phone
• If you have a phone connection (not cable or internet), keep an older hard-wired telephone that doesn’t require power to operate and can be plugged directly into that phone jack
• A list of all the emergency numbers you might need: the electricity company, the fuel company, the kids’ schools, the doctors’ offices – remember, unless you have a charged smart phone you won’t have access to the internet to look these up
Before a storm hits, make sure that you and anyone else in your house knows where the emergency kit is. If you rely on a well with an electric pump, fill a couple of 5-gallon buckets with clean water. Take a shower before the storm hits – it may be the last hot one you’ll be able to have for a while! Finally, research those friends and local businesses, perhaps the library or gym, that are not on the same electric grid as you and who are willing to allow you to recharge a laptop or cell phone (or even take a shower!) in the event of a prolonged outage.
And don’t forget – if you’re a Lamprey Energy customer we’ll be here 24/7 lights, or no lights! 603.964.6703