A short term power cut is a relatively common and simple emergency scenario to prepare for. It is still important, however, to know how to prepare for a power cut. Power cuts can be caused by a number of reasons. These may include bad weather, maintenance or accidental damage to the power supply. A power cut is different to a long term power outage or grid down scenario. A power cut is shorter in duration, and may only affect a single house or small area. Learning how to prepare for a power cut will help keep you and your family warm, safe and fed during a power cut.
How To Prepare For A Power Cut
Preparing the items in the following list will make a power cut much easier to deal with.
- Know where the consumer unit (the box with the circuit breaker switches) is in your house. A power cut may be related to a circuit breaker tripping, and you might be able to solve it by resetting the circuit breaker.
- Prepare a ‘black out box’. This is a box with equipment that will be useful during a power cut. Keep the box somewhere that it would be easy to find in the dark. The black out box should contain:
- Battery powered radio
- Spare batteries
- Candles & matches (a good back up if the spare batteries run out)
- List of emergency contact details
- Long life food that can be eaten without cooking
- First aid kit
- Battery backups for any electrical medical equipment
- Entertainment (the time can pass very slowly during a power cut, especially for children – a book to read by torchlight, or some games to play might help)
- Buy a battery pack that can charge your mobile phone, and keep it charged so that in a power cut you can still charge your phone.
What To Do During A Power Cut
- Find your black out box so that you have any equipment you might need close to hand. If it is dark, use a torch for moving around the house so that you don’t risk injuring yourself.
- Check the switches in the consumer unit to see if there is a problem with the electrical system inside the house. If you reset a circuit breaker and it trips again, the circuit is probably overloaded. Unplug electrical appliances from the circuit, and reconnect one at a time after resetting the circuit breaker. If you connect an appliance and the circuit breaker trips, the appliance may be faulty.
- Use the battery powered radio to listen for news and weather updates if the power cut has been caused by very bad weather.
- Your central heating may not work if there has been a power cut. Keep warm with additional clothes or blankets.
- Do not open the fridge or freezer. If the power cut only lasts a few hours, the contents of the freezer will stay frozen as long as it isn’t opened. If food in the freezer does defrost during a power cut, do not refreeze it when the power returns.
- Do not leave candles unattended. Unattended candles pose a fire risk, and you don’t want to have to deal with a house fire too.
The ukprepper.life family are UK preppers who love to be prepared for everything, from the minor day to day emergencies, all the way to major disasters and more. Between us we have many years of experience prepping, and we’d love to share our experiences with you.