(Family Features) Americans who have recently endured a prolonged power outage at home are much more likely to improve their family’s emergency preparation for the future, according to a recent report.
A 2014 survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Briggs & Stratton found almost one in four U.S. adults had endured a power outage lasting 12 hours or more in the last two years. That experience motivated two-thirds of respondents to be more prepared for future incidents, according to the survey.
“The high percentage of respondents who took action to better prepare their families and homes for future emergency situations really underscores the level of frustration a power outage can cause families who aren’t properly prepared,” said Amanda Grandy, with Briggs & Stratton.
Your Preparedness Checklist: Planning Ahead
When you have advance warning of a potential loss of power, which is often caused by a strong weather system, there are many steps families can take to minimize the stress it can cause. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends that you create an emergency preparedness plan with a checklist of items:
- Make sure your gas tank is full
- Fill plastic bags with water and place them in the freezer
- Stop by the bank to ensure you have some cash on hand
- Fill prescriptions that are approaching their refill date
Disasters, however, don’t always come with prior notice, so having an emergency kit prepared ahead of time is the surest way to protect your family. Be sure to include items such as:
- A three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Adequate water (a gallon per person, per day)
- First aid supplies
- Battery-powered radio
- Extra batteries
- Essential toiletry items, such as toothbrush and paste
An expanded list of items to consider when packing your emergency supply kit can be found at www.fema.gov.
Portable vs. Standby Generators
“Beyond preparing an emergency kit, purchasing a portable generator or installing a standby generator is the simplest way to keep the power on and ensure a family stays safe when a strong storm or other emergency knocks utility power offline,” Grandy said. “Understanding the distinction between these options will help any family determine which is the better choice for their home.”
- A portable generator is an immediate, but temporary, solution. A portable gas generator is less expensive than a standby unit and doesn’t require installation time. Its benefits have limits, as it can only power a few home appliances for a few hours before needing refueling.
- A standby generator with an automatic transfer switch provides a seamless and permanent backup power solution. It is professionally installed outside the home and can power more of your home’s appliances for long periods of time. Powered by natural gas or liquid propane, recent power management technology has allowed homes to still receive whole-house backup electricity, but with a smaller, more affordable generator than in years past.
With an emergency kit on hand and the right backup power source available, the frustration of weathering a storm can be greatly lessened. Visit www.briggsandstratton.com to learn more about backup power options.
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Briggs & Stratton