In The Dark? This is what you should do when the power goes out if you live in the Yarra Valley…
Electricity. It’s something you don’t really think about… until it’s not available to you. Then you realize just how much you rely on it! Wild weather is not uncommon across the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, and when a big storm blows, we often see the lights start flickering and then we are sitting in darkness! Often all we do now is wait…
However, we’re here to help! Here are some tips on how to maintain your family’s safety and comfort when the power goes out.
#1. Make Sure Everyone Is Safe
If you have a family member who might be uncomfortable or in danger because they can’t see, get to them and comfort them, ensure they are safe.
#2. Check To See If Other Houses Are Also Impacted
Determine if you are the only house without power or it’s your entire street. You can do this by looking physically out the window, or you can also check the emergency app on your phone or visiting https://emergency.vic.gov.au/
All planned and unplanned power outages are usually updated here.
This App/site will give you an estimate on when the power should be reinstated.
Understanding how long the expected outage is to last is very important because it will determine what actions you need to take next.
#3. Get A Torch Or Use The Torch Function On Your Phone
Touches will help you get around the house safely without banging into furniture or knocking over your priceless antiques. Be wary of how much you rely on these though, because if the power is out for a while, you might not be able to recharge your phone battery! Having some candles under the sink as an extra back up can help preserve your battery – but always be alert and never leave candles burning un attended.
#4. Turn Off Your Electronics
Go around the house and turn off the electronics that were on when the power went out (especially sensitive electronics if you do not have surge protection) These could include televisions, computers, etc. That way when the power comes back on, you won’t get a huge surprise when those things suddenly turn back on.
#5. Start Up A Generator
If you need power, start up your generator (if you do not already have a whole-home generator that automatically turns on). If you don’t need power right away, consider waiting. You should use your generator for the following reasons:
- If you are not on the town water supply and need the pump to run for fresh water
- If there is critical equipment in your house that needs to continue operating
Consider running your generator periodically but turning it off when not absolutely critical. This will save fuel. Never ever run your generator in an enclosed building, such as a house, garage, or shed. The exhaust fumes can be deadly!
#6. Consider Your Refrigeration Needs
If the power is going to be out for a while you really should have a backup generator to ensure your fridge/freezers continue to operate. We can help you with this at Alpine. However, if you can’t keep your fridge running keep the fridge or freezer door shut. If it’s not too hot outside, then most of your food will likely remain safe for a day or so. If food does spoil, you may be entitled to claim spoiled goods under your home insurance, or depending on the cause of the outage sometimes the power companies may reimburse people for spoiled goods.
#7. Have a backup heating source
If the power goes out in winter our homes can turn bitterly cold very quickly. Having a well-insulated house can really help, but as a minimum make sure you have some warm woollen blankets easily accessible for those cold nights. These plus some extra socks should keep you warm at night.
You rely on the power… until it’s not there. So when it goes off, here’s what to do to stay safe and sane until the electricity comes back on! If you’re interested in installing a whole home generator or just want to upgrade your surge protection to protect your electronics give us a call at Alpine on 1300 252 225 and we can help you prepare for the next power outage.