Rolling blackouts have become menacing situations in California, particularly for residents of Palm Springs or the surrounding Coachella Valley.
A pandemic keeps most people in their homes for longer periods of time. Naturally, electricity becomes essential to daily life during peak and off-peak hours.
Despite your best efforts, your Coachella Valley neighborhood may still experience power outages. With this in mind, there are still things that you can do to ensure your family’s safety before, during and after a loss of power.
Conserve Energy When Asked
During cold days, demand for electricity use will increase. Even though this is a predictable event, residents may get requests to conserve their electricity usage. Typically, peak times are late afternoon or early evening hours.
Falling solar energy production and higher demand are usually the primary reasons you are asked to conserve energy. If this happens, set your thermostat lower than usual before 3 p.m. After this time, move the air conditioning thermostat to 78 degrees or higher.
Other conservation measures that you can take to help the power grid include:
- Turning off unnecessary lights
- Run major appliances like the dishwasher before peak hours
- Hold off using appliances during peak hours
- Draw drapes and use fans to cool your home
- Charge electric vehicles and electronic devices
Be Ready Before a Power Outage
Coachella Valley residents may find themselves without power for hours or days. Your best line of defense is to take the necessary steps now to ensure you are prepared for outages or rolling blackouts.
Such outages can impact an entire community and the economy bringing disruption to water, gas, transportation services and communication systems. Frequently used businesses such as gas stations, grocery stores and banks may have to close.
Preparing your Coachella Valley home for a power outage involves being aware of what you will need. So much of life relies on electricity that it is not always obvious until the power is off. Start by taking inventory of must-haves when you can no longer plug into a power source.
Have a plan to use batteries and other alternative sources that will meet your and your family’s needs. These may include having a power bank, portable charger and flashlights for everyone. Keep some cash on hand, in case ATMs are not functioning.
The following information gives you six ways to be prepared by protecting your family during power outages.
Have a Plan for Your Medical Needs
If you or a loved one depends on electrical-powered medical devices, make sure to speak with your medical provider about a plan during the next power outage. The same goes for any medicines that require refrigeration.
Know how long such medications can remain effective when stored at higher temperatures than a refrigerator.
Check Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Make sure to install carbon monoxide detectors with either a battery backup or one that is battery-operated. Place them near every bedroom in your Coachella Valley home.
Even before an outage, regularly check each detector to ensure they function properly when needed.
Follow Precaution for Generators
The use of portable backup generators can often lead to carbon monoxide poisoning if not used properly. Without warning, this odorless, colorless gas can threaten your family’s safety. Therefore, never use the generator inside the garage or house. Opening the windows and doors will not make a difference.
Always keep portable generators more than 20 feet away from your Coachella Valley home outdoors. Keeping them away from windows and doors ensures the gas cannot creep indoors and threaten your family’s wellbeing.
Practice Food Safety
Eating will remain an important need during a power outage. Stock up on nonperishable food and water to nourish your family for at least three days.
Typically, food can stay cold inside the refrigerator for a few hours. Still, keep the refrigerator and freezer closed unless it is necessary to open either one. Coolers can come in handy to keep ice on hand.
As time passes, use a thermometer to monitor food temperatures. Throw out any food that reaches 40 degrees.
Cook Safely Outdoors
Cooking outdoors with a grill, generator or camp stove might be a fun and safe way to feed your family while you wait for the electricity to be restored. Just remember to keep these appliances at least 20 feet away from the doors and windows of your house.
Check on Your Neighbors
Safety extends to your entire neighborhood when there is a power outage. Be sure to check on your neighbors, particularly older adults and households with small children. They can become extremely vulnerable to hot weather.
If they are unable to remain in their homes safely, consider sharing your resources or taking them to a community location that has power.
Consider Whole-Home Surge Protection
An important consideration during an outage is the dangers of power surges or momentary spikes that can lead to serious damage. When there is an outage, disconnect and turn off all electronics, equipment and appliances throughout your home.
Additionally, you may want to consider having an advanced surge protection system in your home. Simply buying power strips may not deliver the level of protection that you truly need. For instance, large appliances, such as a washer and dryer set, do not use strips.
Instead, they are plugged directly into a wall. Even smartphones and laptops are not always fully protected from power surges. A whole-home surge protection system can help to extend the lifespan of the technology in your home, whether big or small.
What to Expect after a Power Outage
Fortunately, a power outage will not last forever. Once it is over, you and your family can return to life as usual in your Coachella Valley home. But, not before dealing with any negative impacts of being in the dark.
Be sure to throw away any food that reached 40 degrees or higher if power was out for two hours or longer. Check for any unusual odor, texture or color that makes the food unsafe to eat.
Discard any refrigerated medications that were exposed for more than a day, unless the label advises differently. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible to get a new supply.
Take the Next Step With a Company That Goes the Extra Mile!
At Home Team Electric, our team of experts cares about the wellbeing of you and your family. We know that being safe and comfortable any time of the day in your home matters. Not only can we help to protect your home during a power outage, but we also offer a variety of lighting services.
If you are ready to protect your family and home from a power outage, get in touch with our office 24/7 to request service.