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Would You Be Ready for a Power Outage? How to Prepare.

Power lines with stars in the night sky

The warmer months are well and truly upon us – hello spring! But as with every new season there are a whole new set of weather hazards we need to prepare for.

Australia is well-known for our blazing hot warmer months, but a spike in temperature is not the only concern we need to be aware of… That’s right, it’s storm season, and with the stormy weather comes preparing for those pesky power outages.

Storm season can be a volatile period, so it’s no surprise that there is an increase in the number of insurance claims during this time.

Youi on average has a 95% increase in the number of storm claims between October to March compared to winter months.*

The biggest concern for Northern Queensland is cyclone damage, while hail damage is a major worry for the East Coast, ranging from South East Queensland and down past Sydney in New South Wales.

However, it’s important to note that power outages don’t only occur during the storm season, but all year-round for a number of different reasons.

Being prepared ahead of time will ensure you aren’t left fumbling around in the dark.

Luckily for you, our team here at Youi, with the help from the ReadyGov website, have put together some key reminders and steps to follow during a power outage, to ensure you stay safe and well-equipped this storm season.

Reminder 1 – Source of Light:

Picture this – it’s pitch black and you have no source of light to find your way around your home. Maybe you forgot to buy some extra batteries, or the thought of candles never crossed your mind. That’s why having a light source is a useful tip to remember.

  1. Using a torch where possible is a great option, or if you’re desperate candles will do, but always keep an eye on lit candles as they can be a potential fire hazard.
  2. On the topic of batteries, your electronic devices require power to be fully charged. To avoid flat gadgets, arrange alternative power charging methods. For example, purchasing a battery run portable charger is always a great idea.
  3. “Power surges” is another occurrence to be weary of when the power is disconnected. Unplug all devices to avoid damaging your appliances in the case of an unexpected surge.

Reminder 2 – Food and Water:

This one is essential to remember. Having no food and water stocked in your home while the power is out can turn into a sticky situation very quickly.

  1. Always have enough non-perishable food on hand. This can include anything in a can (baked beans, tuna) and bottled water in-case the power is out for a few days.
  2. It’s important to note your fridge full of food can stay cold for up to 4 hours and the freezer for 48 hours with the power off. Having ice handy in your freezer can help keep cold the perishable food in your fridge that may go off while the power is out. Always remember to keep the fridge and freezer doors closed!
  3. Always abide by the Australian food-health and safety guidelines to ensure you and your family don’t get sick! If in doubt, throw it out.  

Reminder 3 – Personal Safety:

This is a big one. You and your family’s safety is critical during a power outage. Take note of the following steps to ensure you stay safe and sound.

  1. Have an emergency kit that is both fully stocked and prepared at home. It should include  first aid supplies, a torch, batteries and loose change or cash. A useful tip – always restock your emergency kit so that you are prepared for next time!
  2. Fill up the tank. You never know when you may need your car and fuelling up can get you through until the power comes back on.
  3. Depending on the season, make sure you dress accordingly. For example, wear light, loose clothing to keep cool during the summer months, and be sure to rug up with lots of layers to stay warm during the colder months.
  4. If there is a medical emergency contact your doctor or call triple 000 immediately.
  5. It is critical to remember to never touch fallen power lines whether it be damaged from a storm or not. Always assume a fallen power line is ‘live’ and extremely dangerous. Warn others nearby, stay well away and always call triple zero 000.

Power outages are often unplanned and can leave you in the lurch if damage is caused. Under Youi Home and Contents Insurance, you could be covered for food spoilage because of a storm or electric motor burnout because of an electric surge. Start a quote with us now to make sure you’re covered this storm season.

*Statistics based on Australian Youi Insurance data from January 2012 to August 2017.