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How do you protect your home from power loss?

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When the weather forecast predicts any type of storm, it’s time to prepare for the possibility of power outages. Whether it’s lightning, destructive winds or severe snow blizzards, these powerful storms can cause outages, surges and other electrical failures.

Before a power outage

Invest in a home generator

Portable generators can be a great solution during power outages. But if one is plugged into the home’s main power source when power is restored, the generator can be destroyed. Fogo generators, for example, are another option

When starting a generator, turn off the main switch to disconnect from the electrical grid. Remember to disconnect the generator before turning the main switch back on.

Invest in surge protection

Think of surge protection as inexpensive insurance for your most expensive electronics. If you have a TV worth several thousand dollars, it’s worth investing in a surge protector strip. The same goes for any other expensive electronic devices you own

Once a power surge occurs, be sure to replace all surge protectors. Their job is to give life for your more expensive electronics.

Buy a spare battery

Protect your computer from power failures. If the power goes out while you’re working on your computer, you risk losing everything you haven’t saved. An uninterruptible power supply (UPS), also known as battery backup, provides a “grace period” of five to seven minutes of reliable power to save all your work and properly shut down your equipment. A more expensive alternative is to replace your desktop computer with a laptop. Keep your battery charged, and you’ll have plenty of time to save your work in the event of a power outage.

Have the right equipment

Before the power goes out, have an “emergency kit” on hand. Here are some items to consider: durable, easy-to-prepare food, sufficient, flashlight and extra batteries, first aid kit, medications and medical supplies, sanitary and personal hygiene products, essential personal documents, cell phone with chargers, pet food and supplies including water, emergency contact information for friends and family.

During a power outage

Unplug or turn off electronics

Whenever a storm is approaching, take the time to walk through your home to turn off and unplug all electronics. Lightning can enter your home through the wiring, so unplugging these items will protect them from damage. If you notice signs of browning after a thunderstorm hits – such as lights dimming for long periods of time – be aware that your refrigerator motor may have difficulty operating in a low voltage situation. Don’t risk touching a plug or outlet during a storm.

Keep freezer and refrigerator doors closed

After turning off the power, quickly put cooled and frozen foods into the freezer and group them together so they stay frozen longer. Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Food will stay cold for about four hours in the refrigerator and about 48 hours in the freezer if it is full. Outside of these time frames, discard perishable foods.

Do not use generators, grills or camping stoves powered by propane, natural gas or charcoal indoors. When power is restored, stay away from power lines and report broken lines to your local power company.

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