Heat, Storms and Power Outages: Were You Prepared?

by Stacy Tharp 2. July 2012

A fallen tree causes severe damage to an Arlington, VA home.

With local temperatures blazing into the three-digit range, this large-scale power outage couldn't have come at a worse time. Now, three days after the storms that caused the outages, many are still without power, and it could be several days before power is restored. The freak storm winds knocked trees not only into power lines, but also into cars, homes and other buildings. This isn't the first time we've seen a natural disaster cause such damage and distress, and unfortunately, it won't be the last time.

At this point, the best thing you can do is ask yourself, "Was I prepared for this?" If the answer is no, it's time to prepare yourself for next time. Take a look at your current auto and home insurance policies. Do you have all the coverage you feel you need? Would you be covered by damages caused by natural disasters? If you do have all the coverage you feel you need, it is still important to shop around and gather quotes from different companies every so often to be sure you are getting the most competative rates.

Are you one of the unlucky millions without power? Whether you are lucky enough to be reading this from your air conditioned home, or if you are sitting in your running car, reading this from your phone as it is charging, everyone should take a look at these gadgets that are helpful during power outages. One of our favorites from this list: a solar cell phone charger (so you don't have to keep your car running).

How is your food situation right now? If your power has been out for three days, do you have to throw out everything in your fridge? Here is a great guide to which foods are safe to keep and which should be discarded.

With this severe weather, your best solution to staying safe from the heat is to escape to a place that has air conditioning (shopping mall, movie theater, friend's house, etc.) When you are at home, stay in the lowest level of your home where it will be the coolest, and drink lots and lots of water, even if you aren't thirsty.

Here are some additional power outage and heat safety resources:

And once you know you are safe:

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