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6 tips you need to know about preparing for and surviving a long-term power outage

When severe weather strikes, it can leave entire communities in the dark, and in extreme cases, it may be days or even weeks before power can be restored.

When larger weather systems threaten, such as hurricanes or snowstorms, people often have a day or two to stock up and prepare for power outages. However, other types of weather may hit with little notice, not allowing any time to go to the store and purchase supplies.

Power line damage

The general rule of thumb is that a family should have enough supplies to last them for at least 72 hours after the power goes out.

Here are six tips for preparing for a long-term power outage:

1. Keep extra batteries for flashlights and emergency radios

One of the most important tools to have when the power goes out is a flashlight. Your flashlight with Duracell® batteries will last much longer than the flashlight on your smartphone -- and using the flashlight on a smartphone will drain its battery, which you'll want to conserve.

Extra Duracell® batteries are a necessity to allow for the continued use of flashlights during a long-term outage.

Different flashlights require different types of batteries, so people should always double check their flashlights and the types of batteries they need.

Weather radios are also important for receiving updates on the local weather forecast and when severe weather is approaching.

2. Have enough non-perishable food and bottled water

Food may not be needed for a power outage that only lasts a few minutes to an hour, but the longer the outage, the more food will be required.

Granola bars, peanut butter, crackers, and canned fruit are good options to keep in an emergency kit as they don’t require refrigeration and they last a long time before spoiling.

Additionally, families should have ample water on hand. The Department of Homeland Security recommends having at least one gallon of water per person per day. This means that a family of four should have at least 12 gallons of water in stock to last for 72 hours.

People with pets should also have a separate supply of pet food, water and a few treats.

3. Purchase a generator

Generators can power essential appliances in a home when the power goes out, such as refrigerators and freezers to stop food from spoiling.

Depending on the generator, it may also be able to power a heating or air conditioning unit to keep a house comfortable amid intense heat or extreme cold.

It is imperative to keep a generator outside when it is in use to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be deadly.

Having a generator does require an extra step when preparing for a power outage as owners will need to have an extra supply of gasoline.

4. Prepare for any temperature

Regardless of the climate in which you live, you should have a variety of items stored away in an emergency kit to stay comfortable.

This can include blankets, sweatshirts and battery-powered fans. People that live in colder climates in the winter months may also want to consider adding extra items, such as sleeping bags, gloves and extra bedding for pets.

5. Have a rechargeable, portable battery handy

Another reliable item to have handy during a long-term power outage is a rechargeable battery, such as a Duracell® Powerbank.

Duracell® Powerbanks are designed to provide you with a reliable source of power for electronic devices, and they help prolong the battery life of your smartphone so you can keep using your device without interruption.

A rechargeable battery is an ideal backup solution that can keep your phones charged for several days at a time, allowing you to keep in contact with loved ones during an emergency.

6. Replenish stockpile two times a year

Once you build an emergency supply kit, it is important to maintain it and keep items replenished.

You should go through your emergency kit every six months, replacing dead batteries, expired food and old medication with new items.

Additionally, families should review emergency plans to be sure that everyone knows what to do if and when disaster strikes.

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