The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center (CPC) predicts a 90 percent likelihood we’ll have 6-10 named storms forming in the Atlantic this year, and a very strong El Niño winter. As such, homeowners on both coasts should be well-prepared given the possibility of power outages and potential property damage when strong storms come.
To properly prepare for a powerful storm and protect you and your family, there are a few key things to note: the best places to take cover, evacuation points, and maintaining a well-stocked emergency kit. Items in your emergency kit should be curated to keep you and your family prepared, powered, and in-touch.
Being without electricity for prolonged periods of time can be detrimental and dangerous. However, most everyone has a key power source, their car. Power inverters will allow you to use a car’s battery to power a variety of electronics, including phones, laptops, cameras, and other appliances.
Canned and dehydrated foods along with plenty of water are of paramount importance.
As a general rule of thumb, you should have one water-resistant and industrial-grade flashlight per person in your household. Since flashlights use varying light bulbs and batteries, make sure you stock up on the types you might run out of during long power outages, or consider purchasing a crank light with long-lasting LED light bulbs. For longer periods without power, a lantern-style light can be very useful to keep broader areas illuminated. Also, if you want to free up your hands, headlamps are an excellent option.
A well-stocked first-aid kit ensures you can handle any emergency health situations quickly and efficiently.
If you lose power in a storm situation, battery-powered LED lights serve as great guides in dark areas, such as kids’ rooms and hallways, which can be crucial when outlining a home evacuation plan. There are many options, including LED motion sensor lights, which automatically turn on when they sense motion and feature easy-to-place mounts. More serious options include LED power failure lights that provide a very bright swath of light to illuminate large, dark areas of the home.
Stock up on two or three sets of backup batteries, including AA, AAA, C, D and 9 volt, for every device that requires a charge. Once purchased, you will be covered for close to a decade as the typical shelf life of an alkaline battery is roughly 10 years. Consider higher-end options like Duracell Quantum and Rayovac Fusion batteries, which will give you a longer run time when you need it most during a disaster.
When modern smart devices begin to lose their power, having a battery-powered, two-way or hand crank radio, plus a NOAA weather radio with tone alert are essential for staying informed and connected to the outside world. They also provide channels with weather updates and evacuation instructions that are announced by local authorities, which can be absolutely critical in severe storms.
Having a protective smartphone case with an external battery pack can help keep electronics juiced up several times longer than their normal battery life, giving folks a communication window to the outside world. Also consider purchasing a car charger to keep electronics powered when alternate sources of electricity have been exhausted.
For many of the above supplies and additional tips on Storm Preparedness, visit your local Batteries Plus Bulbs location. With more than 650 stores around the country, we will help you prepare your own kits and ensure you and your family is safe during storm season.
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