Construction and roadwork appear to be never-ending and, as much as we hate the detours and dust, ensuring better roadways is a part of everyday life for road workers. We know the public utility companies are simply doing their jobs, but every once in a while they hit a power line and we’re suddenly left without power for an indefinite period of time. For the most part, if a power outage happens during the day, we know we have some time for lights to be restored, and we know everything will be back to normal eventually. But, what if the power affects a medical need, or happens at night when we least expect it, or are least prepared?
While many power companies will work diligently to restore the power to affected areas, there are some good practices to keep in mind when we don’t know the cause of the outage, or the timeframe for when the power will be restored:
- Keep multiple flashlights readily available in common (as well as uncommon) areas. Many of us keep our flashlights in the garage, but what if it’s too dark in the garage to look for a flashlight once the power does go out? Do you really want to be searching for something in the garage—in the dark? Or, what if you keep your flashlight downstairs, and the stair lighting from the power outage is affected? Think of places where you might need a flashlight: at the top of the stairs, by your bedside, in a bathroom cabinet.
- Report the power outage from your cell phone. If the power outage is city-wide, it may have already been reported. However, until you know for sure, you don’t want to assume that someone else has taken care of the reporting.
- Safely turn off all appliances and lights until you are sure the power has been restored.
- Gauge the power outrage timing with regard to your refrigerator. If ice and food start to melt, freezers and refrigerators could form puddles that could be potentially dangerous once the power comes back on.
- If you are on oxygen, be sure to have a backup generator at all times.
Despite the precautions and regardless of the timeframe of the power outage, you may still be injured as a result of improper lighting and power in your neighborhood or home. If you have been injured due to lack of restoration of power within a reasonable time, you may have a case against the power or utility company in charge. Dealing with utility companies and their workers involves many parties, and working with a law firm who has success in these types of cases will be your strongest asset in finding compensation.
Remember that power outages will occur when public utilities are being maintained and repaired. Having tools at hand to keep yourself safe in the dark will assist you so you’re not in the dark at a time when you need to be most careful.