During disasters, such as wildfires or categorical storms, the result is usually mass power outages for short or long periods of time. In 2018, millions of Americans were impacted by grid failure, resulting in looting, lack of water or clean water, food spoiling, cooling and heating failure, and many more risks.
Most people think of power outages as being nothing more than an annoying inconvenience. But in reality, power outages can be far more dangerous than you think…especially if it’s widespread or goes on for a long period of time. There are many risks that you may not have thought of that can result from mass power outages, and reasons you should always be prepared with a backup power source, which we will go over here today.
Exposure To Temperatures
When the power is out, that means that the heat goes out with it. In the event that the power goes out during incredibly cold temperatures (such as the kind that we are seeing across the northern midwestern United States right now), this poses a direct threat to your life, and especially to those of you who are in a weakened physical state.
Without power, all of the food in your refrigerator and freezer are going to spoil quickly. When you eat foods that become spoiled, you can become infected with dangerous bacteria such as E.coli.
Granted, the food in your pantry should be mostly safe, but all the food in your fridge and freezer will still be wasted.
Power outages also pose a significant threat to water as well. This is because water treatment plants will no longer be working, which will result in the normal flow of water becoming contaminated.
The only water that will be definitively safe for you to drink is the water you already have stored, and that’s assuming it’s been stored in the right conditions as well.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Do you have a gas generator? And if so, do you know how to use it? Using your generator incorrectly can result in carbon monoxide poisoning, so be sure that you know how to use it. Also be aware if gas lines are damaged in your home or near your home.
A major ‘side effect’ of power outages is the fact that they can disrupt the supply chains that we rely on virtually everyday. If you thought that you could still go to a grocery store to get food, water, supplies, and personal hygiene items (in addition to anything else you may need), that’s probably not going to happen until things get back up and running to how they previously were.
That’s also not to mention that the gas stations won’t be working either, and the only fuel you’ll have is what you have stored (or what you can barter with someone else).
Increased Risk of Injury and Illness
For one thing, a mass power outage is going to also cause the power to go out in hospitals (unless if they have backup generators that they can run), and it’s also going to mean that more people than normal are going to be flooding those hospitals to begin with.
Not only this, but you may be at increased risk of injury from having to clear debris, defending your home against looters and burglars, or being vulnerable to increased sanitation risks. And that on top of the fact that hospitals will not be working to full efficiency, and it’s easy to see how the risk of injury or illness is much higher than before the power outage.
If there’s anything that you take away from this article, it’s that mass power outages are much more than an inconvenience and pose a number of major safety risks. You would be wise to invest in a backup power supply plan for your home.