Weathering Power Outages: Some Tips from VEC
Johnson, Vt - Despite best efforts to minimize power outages, storms that knock out the electricity are, unfortunately, a fact of life. With more Vermonters working and attending school from home, it’s especially important now to be sure you and your family are set to comfortably weather power outages.
Now is a good time to build or restock your household emergency kit and gear. (See sidebar below)
If a storm is in the forecast, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Plan for medical needs/devices. If someone in your home is dependent on electric-powered medical equipment, make sure you have a battery backup or make alternative arrangements to ensure their needs are met.
Stock water. Before a storm arrives, fill a bathtub if you have one, so you have water to flush the toilet. (Avoid unsupervised bathroom access to children). Fill large containers for drinking water or buy bottled water.
Charge devices and fuel vehicles. Be sure cell phones, computers and tablets are charged and vehicles are full of fuel.
Download work/school materials. Consider downloading important documents if a storm is imminent. That way you could stay productive if your internet is down.
Watch the forecast. Keep updated with storm alerts and news from the National Weather Service.
During an outage, you can get updates on estimated times of power restoration at VEC’s Outage Center on the website at https://vermontelectric.coop/outage-center as well as on VEC’s Facebook and Twitter feeds. You can also sign up to receive outage notifications through VEC’s online portal, SmartHub, here https://vermontelectric.coop/smarthub.
For more information about managing outages, please visit https://vermontelectric.coop/electric-system/safety.
Outage Checklist for Your Home
Here is a list of items to have on hand in case of a power outage.
- Battery powered flashlight(s) or headlamp(s)
- Battery powered portable radio
- Battery powered clock
- Cell phone charger (hand crank)
- Extra batteries
- Dry and warm clothing
- Sleeping bags and/or blankets
- Bottled water
- A supply of foods which can be consumed with little to no preparation. Items could include energy bars, peanut butter, dried fruits, nuts/trail mix, and canned goods. Include important toiletries such as towelettes/wipes, diapers and prescription medications.
- Manual can opener
- First aid kit