Preparing For Power Cuts

This is a re-post of a previously published article. 

In general, a power outage can happen any time. However, they have been more frequent in Cairo for the past two years and can be quite frustrating. It is a good idea to be prepared for this type of emergency. And remember: Better safe than sorry. 

          Prepare an emergency kit with the following items:
o   Water (one gallon per day per person) ideally for three days.
o   Food, non perishable and canned goods.
o   Different types of flashlights with extra batteries.
o   Radio with batteries
o   Extra batteries.
o   First aid kit.
o   Extra medication for those with a previous medical condition.
o   Pet supplies (food, water and medication).
o   Extra money and important documents.
o   Entertainment for the family.
o   Emergency and family contact information.
o   Multipurpose tools.
o   Cooler and Ice in the freezer.
o   Personal hygiene items.

          Also, don’t forget to have your car tank full and have your tires checked.
          Keep and extra key to your house, especially if you enter through a garage that opens automatically.
          It is preferable if you have a landline telephone that is not cordless since the others won’t be functioning.

          Try not to open the fridge and freezer a lot –as you need to preserve the food as long as possible. Start by eating perishable food first. 
          You can also use a cooler with ice to keep your food freezed longer.
          Remove electronics from the plugs and turn off your appliances, as a power spike can damage them.
          Avoid using the griller or barbecue inside the house, this is a fire and safety hazard. Carbon monoxide can kill.
          Use flashlights or lanterns but not candles. They can easily cause a fire, and are dangerous with young children around.
          Avoid driving since the streets will be dark and traffic lights won’t be functioning.
          Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and open the windows if it is a hot weather. Also, don’t forget to take care of your pets and constantly giving them water to drink.
          Do not call the emergency services, unless you are in danger. Use it for life threatening situations only.
          Think of innovative ideas to entertain your family members and children.
          Make sure to throw out any food that has been out of the fridge for too long (especially meat, fish, poultry and eggs). Bacteria can easily form and cannot be destroyed by cooking.
          Don’t try to taste the food before deciding to throw it. This can make you sick.

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Article was published in a magazine