As Australian’s brace themselves for summer outages, here’s what to do in a power blackout:
Before an outage ensure you have:
- A charged mobile phone (or a charged portable power block with USB)
- Alternatives to mains lighting such as torches, LED lanterns or candles (tell family members where they are so you don’t need to hunt).
- A battery-powered radio for updates on outages and weather.
- Portable power block or bank with surge protection and long life. Must have USB & power points.
- A generator or battery power if you have life-saving equipment.
- A list of important phone numbers, including power distributors.
- If it’s a planned outage, set your freezer and fridge to the coldest setting and freeze some of the items from your fridge.
- PROTECT your expensive appliances with a surge protector, so they are not damaged by a power surge when power is restored. They can then remain on, if you are not home during the outage.
During an outage:
- Turn off and unplug all electrical appliances to prevent damage from a power surge when electricity is restored.
- Check if your neighbours have lost power and if they haven’t, check that your safety switch hasn’t tripped.
- Offer support to neighbours and relatives, especially the disabled and elderly.
- Move food from fridge to freezer and only open fridge or freezer doors when necessary.
After an outage:
- Food that is still cold to touch (less than five degrees) can be eaten within four hours but after that must be thrown away.
- Freezers set at minus -15 degrees can keep foods at safe temperatures for one to two days.
- Frozen food that has defrosted can be refrozen if it is still cold to touch or less than five degrees.
- People who experience long or frequent power outages in a year may be eligible for compensation. Check with your electricity distribution company whether you have a claim.
Short video about running your home from a small backup generator
This 5 minute video explains why you might want a small backup generator running your home during a power outage.
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Product spotlight: Portable power block
A portable power block is a great item to have during a power outage. Portable Power Banks & Blocks are comprised of a special battery in a special case with a special circuit to control power flow (and prevent surges). You can draw on the stored power during an outage. Charges last around 3 months. The ULTRACHARGE 5X10a Rcd Portable Power Block is a great unit. It has standard power and USB plugs. It will charge your mobile phone so you can continue to get updates and keep in contact during the outage. It’s great value at $104 with free postage on ebay:
Check recent product reviews from ebay: