How to Survive a Blackout: A blog about how blackouts occur, what caused them, and how to survive them.
Did you know that blackouts occur every day? Yeah, they do. They occur every day, and if you don’t already have a plan of action to survive them, you are at risk of the next blackout, causing severe issues.
How blackouts occur
Blackouts occur for a variety of reasons.
They can be caused by hurricanes, tornadoes, high winds, and lightning strikes on the power lines or substations. Animals such as squirrels, snakes, and birds can also cause blackouts if they contact the power lines or substations.
In extreme heat, when everyone is running their air conditioners simultaneously, it can cause a blackout. Blackouts can occur when demand is too high for the power plants to produce enough electricity to keep up. In addition, when power plants shut down unexpectedly, this causes blackouts because there isn’t enough energy being produced.
Causes of a blackout
Blackouts are generally caused by one of three things.
Human error or equipment failure. A nasty storm can break a tree limb and knock down a power line, but most blackouts are caused by something much less dramatic. It could be as simple as someone up the road hitting a utility pole with their car, which can disrupt power at thousands of homes.
Most blackouts are caused by human error or equipment failure. Sometimes, it’s an equipment failure due to negligence on the utility, such as when an aging transformer finally gives out. Other times, there’s no way to predict when something will fail.
Inadequate power supply. This is the rarest cause of a blackout, but it happens occasionally. During heat waves in places like New York City, everyone turns on their AC at once, and suddenly the city’s infrastructure doesn’t have sufficient capacity to meet demand. The result is frequent rolling brownouts — short-lived blackouts designed to prevent a complete system failure — until demand decreases enough for the grid to catch up again.
External factors like these can cause large-scale blackouts that affect large areas of cities or even entire states and regions, especially if they cascade from one area to another.
What to do in the case of a blackout
The best way to survive a blackout is to be prepared for one. In many instances, knowing what to do ahead of time can make all the difference between a harrowing experience and an enjoyable one.
Set up a portable generator. Portable generators are easy to set up and keep your appliances running during a blackout. However, it would be best always to use them in well-ventilated areas outside the home.
If your refrigerator or freezer isn’t complete, fill it with large bottles of water. It will help keep them cool longer in the event of a power outage. In addition, if there’s no electricity for several days, you’ll have fresh drinking water available.
Keep flashlights around the house in easily accessible places to find them quickly when the power goes out. Remember to keep extra batteries on hand as well, so they’ll be ready to go when you need them.
Blackouts are not very common, but it is always good to be prepared.The bottom line is that if you’re without power and don’t have a generator, you may want to consider purchasing one. It won’t do you much good if there are no blackouts in your area, but those with the possibility of extended blackouts might want to get one before they need it. After that, you need to ensure that your family knows how to use it. Buy one today!