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Weather the Storm Wisely

June 8, 2017 12:36 am

(Family Features)--Summer storm season may bring welcome rain, but some storms are strong enough to pack a dangerous punch. Planning ahead for this year's wicked weather can help ensure you're ready to weather whatever Mother Nature throws at you.

One of the most serious side effects of severe weather is the potential for power loss. In some cases, it can be just a nuisance with little more impact than the time it takes to reset clocks. However, when the outage lasts for hours or days, or when you rely on power for necessities like medical equipment, a power outage can be a major imposition.

Make sure your family is ready for any bad weather ahead this season with these tips:

- Ensure there is a working flashlight in every room, so you can safely navigate no matter what time of day the power fails or where you are. Check the battery terminals for any signs of damage or corrosion, and replace old batteries to give you the fullest charge possible. Also invest in a quality lantern or two, so if you have to hunker down for a while, you can do so with the comfort of some far-reaching light. After all, reading or playing board games is no fun by flashlight.

- If you have advance warning of a coming storm, unplug devices that are especially susceptible to power-related damage, such as TVs and computers. In the event of storms that crop up suddenly or while you're away from home, it's best to keep major electronics like TVs, computers and printers plugged into a surge protector to prevent damage from flickering power or a surge when the power is restored.

- Add a backup power source. Portable generators can provide essential power during a sustained power outage. An option like the Briggs & Stratton Q6500 QuietPower Series inverter generator delivers plenty of power to keep essential appliances and electronics running for up to 14 hours on a single tank of gas.

- Keep a ready supply of non-perishable snacks and drinks. Once the power goes out, you'll want to avoid opening the refrigerator, which releases trapped cold air and reduces the amount of time food will store safely without spoiling. After most perishables are exposed to temperatures over 40 F for two hours, you'll need to discard them, though a full, sealed freezer can hold its temperature for up to 48 hours.

- During a storm, keep the family together in one safe location. That way you can quickly communicate if you need to make an abrupt change, such as taking more protective cover. It also minimizes the possibility of injury from making your way through the home in the dark trying to locate family members.

Severe seasonal storms are the norm across many parts of the country. Planning ahead for potential problems, like power outages, can help ensure you weather the storm safely.

Published with permission from RISMedia.