BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – It’s been just over two months since the start of Louisiana’s Hurricane Season, and residents in many parts of the state are already dealing with near-daily summertime storms.

Until Hurricane Season reaches its conclusion in November, many Louisianians will be keeping an eye on conditions in the Gulf and preparing for the effects of extreme weather, which may include power outages.

Listed below are a few tips on how a person can prepare their home for a power outage.

  • Have Flashlights Handy: Keep a flashlight in each room of your house and in your office. Keep plenty of batteries on hand, too, or consider light sticks or a motion-powered flashlight that does not need batteries.
  • Load Up On Candles & Matches: Make sure plenty of candles and/or oil lamps are on hand for light. Don’t forget matches! Also, do not light candles and/or oil lamps if there is a possibility of a gas leak in your home.
  • Keep Your Electric Co’s Contact Info Handy: Ensure that the emergency number for your electric utility handy in case you need to call.
  • Consider investing in a few battery-operated fans: If you can afford it, you may want to purchase two or three battery-operated fans and plenty of batteries. These can ensure that you stay cool while the AC is out.
  • Have An Ice Chest & Frozen Ice Packs Ready: Keep an ice chest readily available to store medications that must remain cold. Store ice packs in your freezer and ready for the ice chest.
  • Stock Up On Disposable Plates, Eating Utensils: Have sustainably sourced disposable utensils and dinnerware on hand so you do not need to use water to wash dishes.  
  • Make Sure You Have Enough Non-Perishable Foods: Keep the pantry stocked with some easy-to-open, non-perishable foods that require no cooking. If you do have canned food, make sure you also have at least one manual can-opener.  
  • Purchase Activities That Don’t Require Electricity: Stock up on board games, cards, and books to keep your mind occupied during the outage.
  • Make Generator Safety A Priority: If you want to have a backup generator, make sure it is installed by a licensed electrician. Check with your local building department to see if a permit is needed. Make sure the system has an automatic breaker that disconnects the house from the power company’s regular electricity lines when it is running. This prevents electricity from leaking back into the grid and making it dangerous for utility workers. Conduct regular maintenance to make sure it is in working order.
  • Make Sure Your First Aid Kit & Go-Bag Are Well Stocked: Keep a household first aid kit and a disaster preparedness backpack kit (the American Red Cross offers this kit for sale) in case something happens.
  • Review Your Disaster Plan As A Family: Have a household disaster plan that you and your family can follow if something occurs.

Most of the suggestions above are provided by the U.S. Department of Energy and additional tips regarding outages and safety can be found at ready.gov.

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