There are many things that can cause the power to go out during the summer and there are many things you can do to be prepared. Before I get into ways to prepare for a power outage I will cover a few of the things that cause the power to go out in the first place.
Have you ever noticed that sometimes the power will flicker quickly but not go out? This is typically caused by a short circuit. This happens when something comes into contact with a power line – such as a tree. When this occurs a device will automatically turn the power on and off in an attempt to clear the problem. If the problem is cleared then you will only notice a brief flicker.
During heavy rains it is not unusual for the power to flicker or even go out entirely. Rain can reduce the insulation properties of porcelain bushings, switches, and insulators that attach the power lines to the poles. Rain water can flow through cracks in these insulators and cause a short circuit which leads to a power failure. This is similar to blowing a fuse in your home.
Summer storms are typically accompanied by high winds. These winds can cause many problems such as breaking off limbs from trees or even blowing over entire trees – both of which can fall on the power lines and either short them or break them completely and cause a blackout. In coastal regions the winds can blow salt water onto electrical equipment which can cause damage and lead to a power failure.
This gives you some ideas of what can cause a power failure during the summer months. While there is very little you can do to prevent these problems from occurring there are things that you can do to prepare for these situations.
Brief power interruptions are not a problem for most household appliances but they can be very damaging to computers. Even just a brief flicker in the power can cause a computer to shut off completely. This can cause anything from loss of unsaved data, corrupted files, and even the failure of hard drives. There are two ways to protect yourself from this: turn off your computer during storms, or use an uninterruptible power supply (UPS).
For when the power goes out completely it is good to have a few supplies on hand such as flashlights with extra batteries, candles, a small gas lamp or stove and extra fuel, food and water in case the power is out for longer periods of time. If you are concerned about longer power outages it can also be useful to have a portable power generator. A generator can be used to keep the fridge running (so the food won’t spoil), keep the lights on, or even power a radio or TV to keep you informed of what is being done to restore the power.
It is easy to prepare for a power failure. By following the suggestions above you can be ready for most situations. When the lights go out you will be happy that you took some steps ahead of time to prepare so a power outage becomes only a minor inconvenience at worst.