Ironically, as we close on National Preparedness Month today, I have experienced preparation and ill-preparation of what is needed should events occur. Unexpectedly a few weeks ago, I experienced a power outage during the evening hours at my home and for seven hours, I was without power. Luckily, I was prepared to some extent, but as always it provides for a learning experience to be prepared in the event it happens next time.
I have experienced power outages on my own before. I understand that many electronics, including those requiring Internet/Wi-Fi Capability will not function with those capabilities unless connected to a Wireless Hotspot, of which I have the capability to do. I must also understand that this is to be done as a last resort as I need to conserve power for emergencies or other necessary circumstances.
It is also important, if necessary, to have batteries in necessary devices such as clocks, etc. A weather radio with battery backup isn’t a bad thing to have in the event of a weather related utility failure, as the ability to connect to Television may become difficult for some. In the United States, NOAA weather radio has a computer voice station that is transmitted from the forecast area to the residents. With weather radio, one can also select the area or type of alert to receive for certain events on their device. However, it is essential to have batteries in it so in the event of a power failure, you can be kept alert of what is needed to know alert wise in your neighborhood.
Also essential is the need to sign-up for community alerts through your local government. Similar to NOAA weather radio. This is usually provided through state and county governments to alert of necessary and designated alerts, and for some areas this can include alerts for governmental facilities like hospitals, prisons, etc. This can be done in to the specific street address of where one designates the alert to be delivered through text, email, phone, etc. so that the alert is delivered properly and if any instructions are delivered, they are done property.
As always, basic essential tools should be kept in the home in order to ensure that one can remain there if necessary for a couple of days until deemed safe to have services restored or a safe evacuation can be guaranteed. Therefore, it is essential to have some shelf-stable foods at the ready for all in the household and a manual can opener so that the food can be opened. Trying to limit the opening and closing of refrigeration and freezer units should be practiced so food in those units can be preserved as long as possible, thus preventing spoilage.
Should the need to either keep home or go to an off-site evacuation facility be needed, it is important to have several charging banks at the ready. When the power went off the other night, this was a life saver for me in maintaining my phone from not losing its power and being able to check the status of the power. Although I am not responsible for some utilities, it is essential to have the telephone numbers and web address for their outage finders so you can be informed when the utility has an estimated time of being returned. At early research, it was discovered that it would be restored in the middle of the night. After waking up hours later than that time, I was able to again visit that site and discover that it would be a little longer, which it did become restored before having to wake up for the day. It was essential to know this so that if necessary I could plan my day to know whether to remain at home or resume my normal activities.
In essence, it is essential to make sure that you have a plan and tools at your disposal should instances of a natural or man-made emergency occur that can have you flustered and out of place resulting in a non-harmonious environment for many that thrive on routines. We as autistics have already had to make many adjustments in these changing times, not being ready in some way for unplanned emergencies just makes it much more miserable.