Insurance Insights

Preparing for a Power Outage

3 minute read time

While you can’t control the weather, you can take proactive safety measures to protect your family and your home. Consider the following tips to help you and your family be prepared in case of a planned or unexpected power outage:

  • Invest in a home generator. A portable backup power source can keep critical equipment like refrigerators, sump pumps and air conditioners running during a blackout.
  • Utilize surge protectors. Sometimes, when the power goes out, it can come back on with a powerful surge that may damage your electronics. A UL-listed surge protector can safeguard expensive electronic devices like televisions, gaming consoles and desktop computers.
  • Develop a family emergency communications plan. It’s important to have a game plan so everyone knows what to do and when. Decide on a meeting spot, identify shelter locations and store the plan on your cell phone.
  • Assemble an emergency survival kit. Account for your pets, too. The American Red Cross recommends having the following items readily available:
    • Water - Plan on storing at least one gallon of water per person per day. You should have water to last for at least three days if there is no power in your house. 
    • Non-perishable food - Stock up on snacks for your family and food for your pets with the plan to cover at least three days. 
    • Flashlight, batteries and glowsticks - For safety, rely on energy efficient LED flashlights and opt for glowsticks instead of candles. 
    • First-aid kit – Be prepared with bandages, scissors, tweezers, tape, antiseptics, pain relievers and distilled water.
    • Personal items – Add blankets and personal hygiene items to keep everyone comfortable while the power is out. 
    • Personal documents – Keep copies of important personal documents (e.g., medication lists, passports, birth certificates and insurance policies) in case of storm damage. 
    • Cell phone chargers – Staying in touch with family and friends is easier with a reliable cell phone battery. Have a car charger or a solar powered charger on hand. 
    • Emergency contact information - Create a list of emergency services and contacts for family and friends. 
  • Electronics and appliances. When the storm is approaching or the lights are already out, consider unplugging or turning off electronics and small appliances. Remember to keep freezer and refrigerator doors closed as much as possible to maintain cold temperatures. If unopened, the refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours, and a full freezer will hold its temperature for 48 hours—24 hours if it is half full.
  • Family activities. Create a plan for games or fun activities to help everyone stay occupied and calm during a storm or outage.

After A Power Outage

  • Once power has been restored, check your frozen and refrigerated items with a thermometer to make sure they’re still safe to eat. 
  • Before plugging in electronic equipment, be sure your electricity has been restored. 
  • If you believe your home or belongings were damaged as a result of the outage, gather documentation and contact your personal insurance advisor.

Keeping you and your family safe is most important during a power outage. Having a plan and taking proper precautions will also keep everyone comfortable and give you peace of mind. Advisors at Johnson Financial Group are here to help you understand your coverage and the best way to protect you and your assets. Contact an advisor today if you have any questions about your homeowners insurance coverage.

Insurance products are provided by Johnson Insurance Services, LLC. Not FDIC insured, not a deposit, not insured by any federal government agency, not bank guaranteed, may lose value. For your protection, coverage cannot be bound or changed via voicemail and is not effective until confirmed directly with a licensed agent.