As we know, this past Monday ERCOT issued a conservation alert to Texans. Citizens have been on edge about power shortages ever since The Great Texas Freeze of 2021 when over 6,000 people died within the week. With extreme levels of frost and heat, there’s no better time than now to learn the best ways to help prevent an energy blackout. However, your whole family should be aware of how to prepare for an energy blackout in Texas.
Set your thermostat 4 degrees higher
When you’re away from home for more than four hours, set your thermostat 4 degrees higher to prevent wasteful energy use and costs.
Use blackout curtains and blinds
Blackout curtains and blinds will prevent sun rays from warming your home by up to 50 percent. This will lower the demand on your AC unit. Keep them closed as often as possible.
Set ceiling fans counterclockwise
Ceiling fans have a summer and winter mode. Do a once-over in your home to set all ceiling fans counterclockwise. This will conserve energy by pushing cool air down instead of drawing warm air upwards. This is one of the best ways to save energy and energy costs in the summer.
Weatherproof your home
Small leaks in your home can lead to a massive waste or energy and cost. Use a candle near a window and door frame to test for leaks. If the flame flickers, air is moving through the cracks. These can be plugged with weatherstripping or silicone caulk.
Line dry clothes instead
Conserve energy with line drying your clothes. Install a drying rack in your laundry room, back porch, and kitchen to air dry clothing. You can use this for towels, outwear, and kitsch accessories along with everyday items.
Cook and wash earlier in the day
Try to meal prep and wash dishes in the morning. Avoid using as much energy as possible during peak time (usually 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. here in Texas). Use the soak and rinse method when washing dishes instead of continually running hot water. Heat liquids in the microwave to reduce energy. Try cold dinners instead of hot dinners to help cool off after a long day. Check out these 30 Cold Dinner Ideas for Scorching Hot Nights.
Preparation and Handling
The following are a few ways you can prepare for a blackout, as well as how to handle one. Make sure your entire family knows these safety tips this summer. Everyone should know how to prepare for an energy blackout in Texas.
Know the signs of heat stroke and dehydration
Common signs of heat stroke are:
- Dizziness or confusion
- Loss of appetite and nausea
- Fast breathing
- Cramps in arms, legs, and stomach
Common signs of dehydration are:
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive tiredness
- Feeling lightheaded
- Dry mouth, lips, or eyes
- Dark yellow and strong-smelling urine
If you notice signs of heat stroke or dehydration in yourself or someone else, try these five methods of cooling:
- Hydrate with cool water, not cold water. Avoid sugary drinks for rehydration.
- Immerse body in cool water
- Mist body with cool water and lie under ceiling fan or near box fan
- Cool down neck, back, groin, and/or arm pits with ice packs
- For severe symptoms, call 911
Non-perishable dry foods are important during power outages. You’ll want to have items on-hand that last a while and require no cooking. Here is a list of some things to include in your power outage grocery list:
- Peanut butter (a good source of protein that can be used in a variety of ways)
- Tuna pouches (ready to eat source of protein)
- Fruit cups (ready to eat source of nutrients)
- Beef Jerky (ready to eat source of protein)
- Trail Mix (variety of essential energy sources)
- Cereal bars (variety of nutrients)
Store plenty of water
Water will be the more vital resource. Be sure to have plenty of filtered or bottled water on hand for everyone in your household.
Take cold baths
Conserve your water by taking cold baths instead of hot showers. Not only will this help prevent an energy blackout in Texas, it will also help keep your body temperature low.
Try not to open the refrigerator
You will want to keep the refrigerator as cold as possible for as long as possible. Most cold foods will only last about 12 to 48 hours in the refrigerator during a power outage. A full refrigerator will stay cold longer than a half-full refrigerator. If the power outage may last longer than a day, buy coolers and bags of ice to transfer your cold items into.
Use no-flame lighting
Using candles for a light source will bring unnecessary heat into your home. Use light sources powered by batteries, such as LED lights and flashlights.
Create an at-home evaporative cooler
You can create a DIY evaporative cooler at home by hanging a wet cloth or towel vertically. Use a battery-operated fan behind it to blow air towards the room. The fan will cool the water and blow a breeze across the room. There are several methods to create an evaporative cooler at home. This is one of the best ways to prepare for an energy blackout in Texas, especially with small children and pets.
Pin this page in case you may need it. Temperatures in Texas are expected to stay in the 100s for the foreseeable future. Prepare for the worst now to make the best of the situation later!