Did you know that a solar panel system with battery back-up is a great way to prepare for an unexpected disruption in the grid? Whether the outage is caused by weather conditions like a hurricane, tornado or ice storm, or by strain placed on the grid during peak hours, solar customers fare better than most.
For solar electric homes and for those who depend entirely on the grid, there are a few important steps to take so you will be prepared for power interruption, regardless of the source of the problem.
Make a habit of always keeping batteries in cell phones and computers charged and ready to use. When the power is out, limit use of devices to critical communication. Change the power setting on your phone to low power. Whenever possible, communicating by text rather than voice helps, too.
If you don’t have an emergency kit already, assemble one and store it in a safe but readily accessible place. Check the kit regularly and replace items that have may be past their “use by” date or in poor repair.
It’s a good idea to sit down with your family and create a plan about what to do when the power goes out. When the lights go out or flood waters are rising and everyone is under duress it’s too late to decide about what essential tasks need to be taken care of and who’s best suited to handle them. Planning is especially important if you have young children or an aging parent in your home.
If there is someone in your home that depends on a life-support system, contact your utility company, let them know about your situation and find out that they offer their customers in terms of emergency support.
Does your city have an emergency alert system? If so, sign up for it to get text messages when there are threatening conditions in your area. Check with your utility company, too, and sign up for any emergency alerts they offer.
If you are a customer of Austin Energy, sign up here for text alerts about power outages
A little time spent planning can help you and your family avoid stress and maybe even enjoy a short break from the constant connectedness of modern life.
If you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to explore how installing a solar panel system can help you save money on electricity and be better prepared for the storms and power outages that spring frequently brings.