Rolling blackouts are just a part of life in areas with high demand and limited supply. They can happen for various reasons, from spikes in demand to equipment failure. In this article, you’ll learn how to prepare for rolling blackouts so you can be ready if they’re scheduled in your area.
What are rolling blackouts?
Rolling blackouts occur when there isn't enough electricity generated to meet demand. Grid operators cut the electricity supply to specific parts of the network at selected times to avoid overloading the grid. A rolling blackout can last anywhere from a few minutes to a couple hours or even several days depending on how quickly utility companies can rebalance the grid.
What can you do to prepare for a blackout?
- Stockpile nonperishable food and water for your household.
- Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for electrical devices and refrigerated medicines. Additionally, prepare a pet emergency kit for any service or support animals.
- Ready a backup power supply. If you live in an area where rolling blackouts are common, it's a good idea to invest in an alternative energy source, such as theVanpowers Super Power Pro 2000 portable power station, which has a capacity of 2096 watt-hours and an output power of 100–3000 watts.
- Keep mobile phones and other rechargeable devices fully charged however possible. Your phones are your lifelines to the outside world.
- Plan for heating or cooling your home. Installing weatherstripping around your doors and windows will help to insulate your home, keeping things warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather.
- Buy flashlights, extra batteries, and candles. Flashlights can be used to move around safely during blackouts, and candles can provide both light and a little bit of warmth around the house.
- Make sure your carbon monoxide detectors and battery-powered smoke detectors are working.
What can you do during a power outage?
- Unplug any appliances and electronics to prevent damage from electrical surges if the power comes back unexpectedly.
- Recharge your portable power station with solar panels to continuously power your home. The Vanpowers Solar Generator, consisting of the Vanpowers SP200 foldablesolar panel and the Vanpowers Super Power Pro 2000 portable power station, not only reduces your power demand, but can also offload excess power to the grid by being connected to it, increasing and diversifying the available power supply.
- Never use a gas stove or oven to heat your home, as this will result in a buildup of carbon monoxide over time.
- Dress in weather-appropriate clothing, and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
- Check on your family members and neighbors. Older adults and young children are particularly vulnerable to extreme temperatures.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to avoid warming up items that need to be kept cold.
- Measure the temperature in your refrigerator and freezer and throw away food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.
It pays to get ready for rolling blackouts. You can worry less about losing power if you know when and why outages are happening, use these tips to stay prepared, and use solar panels and energy storage to mitigate the impact.