You might enjoy the typical summer storm, that is… until the power goes out. Blackouts have become part of summer life in Australia, but despite their relative predictability, few are prepared for a loss of power – according to our research.
How many are prepared?
We surveyed more than 2,000 electricity consumers in 2012 and found a little more than one in three are prepared with emergency supplies should the power go out for a long period of time (38%).
Queenslanders are most likely to be prepared for a disruption to energy services, with 51% of those surveyed stating they had emergency supplies in case of blackouts. This is perhaps unsurprising, given that (reportedly) three quarters of Queensland was affected by widespread flooding at the beginning of 2011 – many may have emergency supplies on hand because of it.
Conversely, South Australian (31%) and Victorian (30%) respondents were least likely to have such supplies set aside for a rainy day.
When it came to the sexes, men (40%) were slightly more likely than women (37%) to be prepared for power loss. By age group, it was Baby Boomers who were most likely to be ready with emergency supplies, when compared with Generation X (32%) and Generation Y (27%) respondents.
How can I be prepared for a blackout?
Storm season is generally from November through February for many parts of Australia. Rain can bucket down seemingly out of nowhere on a crystal clear day. 300mm of rain or more can fall in a matter of a couple hours, and before you know it, many regional areas are cut off by flooded roads. While power crews usually are pretty quick to restore power, you should prepare in case of longer than expected blackouts.
As it’s impossible to predict exactly when a blackout will occur, it proves that preparedness is the best defense against a blackout. A few items you may want to include in a handy kit include:
- Fire extinguisher and fire retardant blanket
- First aid kit
- Bottled water and non-perishable foods e.g. canned and packaged goods.
Overall, it is slightly alarming that over one third surveyed do not know the basics of what to do in a blackout. Blackout preparedness is a simple yet very effective way to prevent injuries or unfortunate events occurring in a blackout.