If a power outage lasts for more than four hours, you need to check the food in your fridge and freezer.
Avoid opening the doors to the refrigerator and freezer to help them maintain cooler temperatures for a longer time. If the power outage continues, and the food thaws out or begins to get warm, use coolers to store your most expensive perishables then fill them with ice from the freezer to extend their lifespan.
According to the Red Cross, a half-filled freezer that is not opened the entire time that the power is out can keep the food in it sufficiently frozen for at least 24 hours. If your fridge is completely filled, the food should remain safe for about 48 hours.
Change your schedule. Reschedule tasks to early in the morning or late in the afternoon or night so it's cooler outdoors. This ensures that you don't sweat too much and risk getting heatstroke.
Get battery-operated fans and lots of extra batteries. You can also look for rechargeable tabletop fans or handheld fans with a misting option.
Use a handheld fan to stay cool.
Use cooling towels. These are reusable and you can cool down by getting them wet in cold water. If it starts getting warm, soak the cooling towel in cold water again before reusing it.
Invite the whole family and relax by playing in the water. Get a kiddie pool and fill it up with clean water in a shaded part of the yard or use the bathtub indoors. Reuse the water for gardening or other tasks so you don't waste your resources. If you don't have extra water in your stockpile, find the nearest creek or pond and wade or swim.
Soak your feet in a foot bath full of tepid water to cool down.
Avoid using appliances that generate heat, like ovens, stoves and clothes dryers.
General prepping tips before a power outage
Outages can occur any time of the year. The tips below will help you prepare before the power goes out in your neighborhood.
Stock up on food and a way to prepare it without electricity
Before SHTF, store food that doesn’t require cooking and prep a cooking method that doesn't require the grid to be functioning. If you also want to prep a secondary cooking method, stock up on enough fuel for two weeks.
Store foods that don't require long cooking times. In the summer, avoid using cooking methods that heat up your house and consider other options like outdoor barbecues or solar cookers.
Prepare emergency lighting solutions such as:
Flashlights and extra batteries
Garden stake solar lights
Hand-crank or solar lanterns
Long-burning candles or kerosene lamps, but consider other options during a summer outage
First aid kit
You need a basic first aid kit on hand at all times, especially if SHTF.
Books, toys and board games will help keep the kids and adults entertained during a long-term power outage. Keep a box of off-grid entertainment supplies in an easy-to-access location and include items for family members with different interests.
Include items and supplies like:
Books (Fiction and non-fiction)
Crayons or coloring pencils and coloring books
Games and toys
Pens and pencils
Prep ahead so when SHTF, you have what you need to help your family stay cool and healthy even during a summer power outage.