January 31, 2012

The power supply in the Phoenix area is relatively stable, with few power outages each year. However, strong winter storms, summer thunderstorms and equipment failure can knock out the power for hours. Even though the area seldom experiences freezing temperatures, it helps to be prepared for any outage that occurs during the winter. Some of these tips apply all year long, as well, to keep yourself comfortable without the electricity.

  • Have enough fresh batteries around the house for flashlights, a portable radio and/or a television set. It’s important to stay in touch with announcements about the length and size of the outage.
  • Write down your electricity account number, along with the company’s phone number for reporting outages, and keep it in an easy-to-find place. Once your electricity is out, contact the electric company to report it. Don’t assume they know.
  • Keep emergency candles in a specific location if you need to light your home at night, along with lighters or matches. Use the candles to light a room you’re using. In the winter, the candles provide some limited heat. Place the candles up and away from children and pets who can knock them over.
  • Obtain a car charger for your cell phone. If the batteries get low during power outages, you can recharge it in your car. It’s also a good idea to keep plenty of gas in your tank for a long outage, so you can go elsewhere should you need to.
  • Know how to operate your garage door manually so you can get the car out in case of power outages.
  • Stay out of the freezer and refrigerator. Use an instant-read thermometer when the power comes back to test the temperature of the food. If it’s over 40 degrees, consider throwing it away. Keep some shelf-stable food on hand so you’ll have plenty to eat.
  • Have an alternative way to cook your food. Use a camping stove or barbecue to cook food outside. Never use these stoves indoors, since they emit deadly carbon monoxide.
  • Keep extra blankets or sleeping bags on hand to stay warm in the winter.
  • Turn off your heating and air conditioning equipment. A surge when the power outage ends can hurt these appliances.

If you have any questions about your HVAC equipment, contact Wolff Mechanical. We’ve been serving the Phoenix area for over 20 years.

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