On Tuesday evening, approximately 225,000 New Zealanders found themselves without electricity, surpassing the number left in the dark by Cyclone Bola in 1988, as a result of the destruction brought by Cyclone Gabrielle.
Tips to stay comfortable during the outage
Dress in Layers
To help stay warm and comfortable during a power outage, dress in layers to help insulate your body. Choose layers that can be easily added or removed depending on the temperature.
Use Flashlights and Candles
Being able to see in the dark is key to staying comfortable during a power outage. Make sure you have flashlights and candles ready with plenty of extra batteries and matches.
Close the Curtains
Closing the curtains and blinds on windows can help to keep the heat in and the cold out.
Cook with Gas Stoves
If you don’t have a gas stove, you can cook on the stovetop using a camping stove or a propane grill if available.
Keep Food Cold
If the power is out for more than a few hours, you may need to keep food cold. To do this, fill a cooler with ice and store your food inside. If this is not possible keep fridge and freezer doors closed to maintain internal temperature.
Dehydration can be a serious problem during a power outage. Make sure you have plenty of water and other beverages available. Often power is required to pump fresh water to your home, make sure you have clean fresh water available.
Use a Generator
If you have a generator, you can use it to power lights and small appliances. Make sure you follow all safety instructions and run the generator in a well-ventilated area.
Get Fresh Air
If possible, try to open windows and doors to get some fresh air. This can help to keep the air temperature more comfortable.
First Aid Kit
Ensure you have a first aid kit handy that can be accessed in the case of emergency.
Power outages can occur at random and can be caused by natural events such as Cyclone Gabrielle. It is important that you have precautions and emergency supplies set up in the event that you lose power and are cut off from help and support.