Weather related power outages are a fairly common occurrence in Texas. Sometimes they spring up out of nowhere, and other times we can be prepared through National Weather Service updates and storm tracking apps. But what happens when you wake up in the night to a weather related power outage? What happens when you hear the wind howling and rain coming down, and your cell phone is dead because you forgot to plug it in? It’s the perfect storm, so let’s get you prepared!
First, it’s best to stay informed and educated through any weather related event. When your power’s out, you can trust the tried and true battery powered radio to keep you informed! NOAA Weather Radio is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from National Weather Service (NWS) offices across the country. The broadcasts include warnings, watches, forecasts, current weather observations, and other hazard information, 24 hours a day. You can purchase many different types of weather radios to best fit your needs. We recommend one that you can plug in 24/7 with a secondary battery option for when things go dark.
Next, you’ll want to keep your kit handy. You’ll need to remember where it is and have it in a spot you can easily access while your power is out. Keep a flashlight at your bedside or in your main living area. This will be what you reach for first when a weather related power outage hits.
A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
- Water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation)
- Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle (to signal for help)
- Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
- Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
- Manual can opener (for food)
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
You may not think you need all that, but the point is to have something at your disposal. At the very least; extra batteries, cell phone charger, first aid and a flashlight are essential items to managing a weather related power outage.
Finally, know your TDU (Transmission Distribution and Utility Company). While your first reaction to the lights going out is to call your electricity supplier or message them on Twitter, your TDU is the entity that manages the power lines in your neighborhood. Their crews work around the clock to maintain and restore power during outages. Their dispatchers will be able to better inform you of restoration times. Find your TDU and contact information here.
You’re now more ready to take on weather related power outages!
Jackson is a digital film and video production/social media specialist that not only enjoys those roles as a job but as a hobby as well. In his free time Jackson creates videos for his YouTube channel about his passions in auto culture.