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What to do when the power goes out

Members of Ash Street Cooperative, as well as Park Forest and some surrounding towns, experienced a massive thunderstorm last Monday that took the power out. Many homes, cooperatives included, were left without power for days!

While the damages and inconveniences of the storm could have been much, much worse, they did cause citizens to have to think quickly and efficiently about how to preserve their homes in the moment.

electricians in buckets fixing power lines

What we realized, after the fact, was that an article outlining how to best take care of your home after having the power go out would be a great resource for many.

Our hope is that the following information will be useful should this ever happen again. If you have any additional tips, please let us know.

  1. Don't panic! - A fretful mind cannot think through solutions as easily as a calm one can.

  2. Call the power company. - Don't assume someone else already called. Report it immediately.

  3. Don't open your fridge or freezer. - Letting the cold air out, every time you open the door, will speed up the rate to which your food will melt and/or spoil. If you do have to open the door, open it quickly and minimally.

  4. Gather up supplies. - Flashlights, candles, batteries, lanterns, medications, and phone chargers should be placed in a central location for quick and easy access in the dark.

  5. Let someone know. - While you have battery in your phone (in hope's that you do) call a friend, neighbor or loved one to let them know you are without power.

  6. Keep your body cool/warm. - Depending on the time of year your power goes out, make sure you prepare your body and home for the temperature changes. Without power, your entire HVAC system will not run. Dress in warm layers in the winter and dress lightly in the summer.

  7. Insulate your home. - Use your blinds and curtains strategically to help your windows insulate from the outdoors. In the summer, close all sun-facing windows/curtains and open shade-facing ones in an attempt to regulate the heat coming in. In the winter, do the opposite to retain the heat.

  8. Unplug major appliances. - When the power is restored, a major energy surge could damage your appliances so unplug them.

  9. Get water reserves. - Whether this means you fill up pots, pitchers, or even your bathtub or you simply run to the store and buy gallons of water, do it. Some water systems are electrical-reliant so stock up while it's still flowing.

  10. Try to enjoy the down time. - Just because your power is out, doesn't mean you have to worry or stay home. Take a day trip, spend quality time with your family, visit a park, go to the movies, read a book outside in the sunshine, go for a walk, visit friends, etc... Use this as an opportunity recharge. There is nothing you can do about it, so you might as well make the best of it!

happy family outside

Are you ready to become a Member in Park Forest's friendliest Housing Cooperative? Great! Stop by the office or give us a call today to learn more about this unique form of home ownership.

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