Your blackout preparation guide: What do you really need?

| 2 min read

Prepare your family for a blackout
When dealing with a frigid forecast, most people think of wearing extra layers under their winter coats or adding an extra blanket and flannel sheets to their beds, but there is actually a lot more to consider when expecting a blast of arctic temperatures.
In December and again a few weeks ago, thousands of Michigan households went without power because of the below-freezing temperatures, ice and snow. As the mercury drops again this week and weekend, it is important to prepare yourself and your family for a power outage. How to do that? With advice from the American Red Cross, we compiled a list of items to keep at the ready.
  • An emergency generator They can be pricey, but getting power up on your own can make a huge difference if you rely on electric heat or if a family member requires electric-powered, life-sustaining equipment.
  • One gallon of water per person, per day If pipes freeze, these will become necessary very quickly.
  • Non-perishable food and easy-to-prepare items Think peanut butter, whole-wheat crackers, nuts and trail mixes.
  • Flashlight Candles can be risky, so double-check that the batteries in your flashlight are fresh.
  • Extra batteries
  • A 7-day supply of any medications
  • Family and emergency contact information Most people don’t have phone numbers memorized, but if your cell phone dies, you’ll need the numbers to be accessible.
  • A non-cordless telephone A phone that plugs into a jack is likely to work even when the power is out.
  • Extra blankets and board games A blackout presents a unique opportunity to spend quality time with family without distracting electronics, so make sure you stock up on things that can keep everyone entertained.
Photo credit: Jer Kunz

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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