How to Prepare for Summer Storms and Blackouts

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Summer is a time of blue skies and abundant sunshine, but the summer season is also prone to severe storms, extreme heat and unpredictable weather. Whether you live in an urban apartment or a sprawling rural estate, you need to prepare your property for sudden storms, extended blackouts and other events.
No matter where you live, there are some common sense things you can do to protect yourself and your family. You can start by going through your pantry or food storage area and making sure you have plenty of canned goods and other shelf-stable items on hand. Look for staples that do not require heating or cooking. Things like peanut butter and canned vegetables can provide nutrition for your family even if a blackout turns the lights out for days at a time. Those simple foods may not provide the most exciting of meals, but they can get you through the worst of the storm.
Water is another important consideration, since a sudden loss of power also means a loss of water for cooking, showers, drinking and other essential daily functions. Keeping a supply of bottled water in your basement or spare room will give you peace of mind all year long and help protect you in the event of a blackout.
If severe storms are in the forecast, take a few minutes to fill up your bathtub and any extra water containers you have around the house. That will give you extra water for flushing toilets and staying clean should the storm take out the power grid.
It is also a good idea to have an evacuation kit handy for emergencies, especially if you live in an area that is prone to tornadoes, hurricanes or other severe weather events. Your evacuation kit does not have to be elaborate or expensive. You can make one yourself by picking up an old backpack and filling it with ready-to-eat food, bottled waters and a simple first-aid kit. Create a kit for each member of the family and keep them in a safe spot. You can stow them in a closet by the door or even keep them in the trunk of the car. The key is to make sure each kit is fully stocked with the items you will need if you need to leave your home quickly.
The time to prepare for severe weather is before the storm hits. Even if you do not live in tornado alley and the nearest ocean is thousands of miles away, you can fall victim to severe weather, sudden blackouts and other unusual events. Taking the time to prepare for those unlikely scenarios will give you and your family peace of mind and let you enjoy the warm summer weather even more.

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