How to Prepare for a Power Outage
person looking at a fuse box with a flashlight
Home Security

How to Prepare for a Power Outage

By Ring on August 22, 2023

Whether they happen during an unexpected storm or as the result of a planned maintenance period, power outages can last several days and impact everything from heating and cooling to cooking and refrigeration. But with the proper preparation and help from your Ring devices, you can minimize the outage’s impact and help your family and home stay safe and secure.

Be Prepared for a Long-Term Power Outage With These Safety Tips

Here are a few simple steps you can take to ensure you have everything you need to get through a power outage.

Assemble an Emergency Kit

When the power unexpectedly goes out, you shouldn’t have to stumble around in the dark to find an old flashlight that may or may not have working batteries. Instead, the American Red Cross recommends having an easily accessible emergency kit with these necessities:

  • A two-week supply of water with one gallon per person, per day
  • A two-week supply of non-perishable food that’s easy to prepare
  • A can opener
  • A flashlight
  • A hand-crank or battery-powered radio to stay up-to-date with critical weather information (ideally a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA] weather radio, which broadcasts 24/7)
  • Extra batteries for radios and flashlights
  • A first-aid kit
  • A week’s supply of medications and medical items
  • A multi-tool, which contains various items you may need in an emergency, like screwdrivers, a knife, scissors, pliers, a can opener, and a file
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Copies of important documents, such as medication lists, insurance policies, deeds, birth certificates, and passports
  • Cell phones with regular and battery-powered chargers
  • Emergency contact information
  • Cash
  • An emergency blanket
  • A map of the area
  • If you have young children or an elderly family member living with you, don’t forget to pack extra emergency supplies for a power outage. You may need formula, baby food, and diapers for an infant or toddler, games and activities for children, and extra medical supplies like hearing aids with batteries and glasses for older adults. And don’t forget your furry family — be sure to pack food and supplies for your dog or cat, including sturdy carriers, leashes, medications, and garbage bags or litter boxes to collect waste.

    Create and Practice a Household Evacuation Plan

    If a severe storm or natural disaster causes a power outage, you may be directed to leave the area. And when you get an evacuation order, time is of the essence.

    The American Red Cross recommends creating a plan that includes an evacuation destination and multiple routes to get there. Practice these routes proactively, so you don’t have to stop and pull out a map during an emergency. And don’t forget your pets — if it’s unsafe for you to stay home, it’s dangerous for them, too.

    To get started on your evacuation plan, consider using this disaster plan template from the American Red Cross.

    Install a Security System and Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

    There are many things you need to do when the power goes out, from closing windows and unplugging appliances to alerting your emergency contacts. And with Ring Alarm Pro, you can take steps to help secure your home. Ring Alarm Pro comes with a backup battery to keep your system functional for 24 hours during an outage. And if the electricity doesn’t return within a day, you can keep your system powered even longer with stackable Power Packs, sold separately.

    With a Ring Protect Pro subscription, sold separately, you get cellular backup to keep your devices connected to the internet, so your Alarm can continue sending alerts to your phone and the professional monitoring center (if you’re also enrolled in 24/7 Alarm Professional Monitoring).1 2 If something triggers the Alarm after you evacuate, you’ll receive a real-time alert and can request emergency assistance from afar.1

    When you stay in your home during an outage, using alternative fuel and electricity sources can lead to a buildup of carbon monoxide (CO). The CDC recommends checking to be sure your CO detector is functional and changing the batteries every six months to help ensure it can detect dangerous CO levels in an emergency.

    Smoke and CO Listeners, sold separately, can link to your Ring Alarm and trigger the siren when a detector goes off.1 With a Ring Protect Pro subscription, also sold separately, you can enroll in 24/7 Alarm Professional Monitoring to automatically alert a professional monitoring center when your Smoke and CO Listener gets triggered. 2 The professional monitoring company will immediately request a fire response and call your emergency contacts to notify them.

    Stay Connected and Alert

    When a power outage occurs, you and your family members may be in different places, like school, work, daycare, or the gym. You can ask each place about its power outage plans and procedures, so you know what to do if an outage strikes when you’re apart. Be aware of the best ways to get in touch in the event of a separation, from a phone call during non-peak hours to a simple text or social media post.

    An easy way to stay connected with your community during an outage is to download the Neighbors App. You’ll be able to connect with people in your area who need assistance. Or, you can ask for assistance from people in your area. For example, you can locate a neighbor with extra batteries or flashlights to spare. You can also access crucial updates about the outage or disaster from local agencies, the Neighbors Team, and community members who may have footage or relevant info about what’s happening.

    If your phone dies and you can’t access the Neighbors App, use a hand-crank radio or another device that works without power to get updates while your phone charges.

    Click to open Neighbors App in App Store. Click to open Neighbors App in Google Play Store.

    Identify a Support Network

    Habitat for Humanity states that before a disaster, you should pick a few family members and friends who may be able to provide support while you stay at home or evacuate. Create a contact card of your emergency contact list and give one to each family member.

    Stay Safe and Informed

    When you take the right steps to prepare, you can have everything you need to help you and your family stay safe when the power goes out. Remember to stay informed using the Neighbors App. Whether you need to stay put or evacuate, you and your community can work together to ensure everyone has the tools and resources to stay safe and secure. Download the Neighbors App today to see how it helps you stay in the know during emergencies and all year round.

    1 Ring Alarm and all Ring Alarm accessories require a subscription for in-app features and digital notifications, including digital arming / disarming and integration with other Ring, Echo, Alexa, and third party products. Subscription sold separately. View for pricing and details.

    2  A compatible Ring Protect subscription is required to enroll in the Ring Alarm professional monitoring service. Professional monitoring service is available only within the U.S. (all 50 states, but not U.S. territories) and in Canada (excluding Quebec). Ring does not own its own professional monitoring center. Smoke and carbon monoxide monitoring is not available for a business or commercially zoned address. See Ring alarm licenses at: Additional permit or false alarm fees may apply depending on your local jurisdiction. Additional charges may apply in areas that require permits or guard response service for alarm verification.

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