Written By: Naomi Broderick
When we lose power, we lose a lot of things that gives us security. As we lose our lights, we give criminals the dark to use as cover. As we lose access to our home security systems, we grant access to those that we might rather keep out. We also lose access to things that keep us connected, such as computers and television; without these, it can be difficult to keep our families comfortable.
There are plenty of natural causes to power outages, such as storms, earthquakes, or other severe natural disasters. There are some instances where your power might vanish due to a construction accident, or a complication with the power company. But the most malicious and exploitative way power goes out is due to criminal interference.
Given how essential our power is to maintaining a good security system, here are some tips to prevent invaders who might take advantage of power outages in your neighborhood:
- Have alternative sources of power ready
While generators are not viable to produce all the power you’ll need to power essential and nonessential electronics alike over the long-term, a good model might keep your most important aspects of home security armed. A higher-end solar generator is an expensive albeit excellent choice, and can sustain your power needs for a longer period of time if the outage lasts for weeks − or even months.
Even if there isn’t enough power to keep your alarm armed, it might be wise to keep communications technology and ample lighting available. Motion-sensitive lighting is an excellent deterrent; nothing says “not for sale” to a criminal approaching a presumably unplugged home like a bright light on your front porch that illuminates the yard when they approach.
- Be prepared for an unplugged lifestyle
Although we take it for granted when everything is running as usual, no other time illustrates the luxury that is refrigeration like a power outage. Store plenty of various long-lasting unrefrigerated foods to avoid hunger pangs later on. Many of your favorite foods likely come powdered, preserved, or otherwise manufactured to increase their shelf-life. Seek out these long-lasting foods in preparation for any outages.
And of course, have an auxiliary source of water, since your water purification system might not be functioning. A good rule of thumb is that you’ll need a gallon available per individual for each day, and each gallon needs to be properly sanitized. For tips on food and water safety during an outage, see these tips from the CDC.
Besides the most essential parts of unplugged living, short power outages merely hours long can become a colossal source of frustration in our technologically dependent society. Board games and card games can be diverting, but there are many other ways we can help shake away the monotony of life unplugged.
- Have a family plan already in place
It is never wise to leave dealing with an emergency to a single person, such as the head of the household. While it might be tempting to leave children out of emergency planning, it is essential that every member of a family is aware and actively involved in planning. Your plan should incorporate routes, meeting places, contingency plans, and emergency kits that include sources of light, food, and medical supplies.
While this kind of planning can be heady, there are plenty of resources available to streamline the process. For starters, check out FEMA’s website, Ready.gov.
With resourceful planning, plenty of backup supplies, and alternative sources of power, you can defend your household from the vulnerabilities that a power outage represents. While going without power can never be exactly luxurious, you can take away a lot of the anxiety and fear that your family might experience with some good forethought.
About the author:
Naomi Broderick is a professional writer who specializes in writing about good home security and parenting practices. When not taking care of her children, she enjoys writing with Protect Your Home.
Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ciadefoto/3177659946/