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Expert sheds light on coping with power outages

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Alkaline batteries have an eight to 10 year shelf life. Alkaline batteries have an eight to 10 year shelf life.
Keeping a spare cell phone battery charged can help with the power goes out. Keeping a spare cell phone battery charged can help with the power goes out.
Lanterns can be more effective than flashlights in a power outage. Lanterns can be more effective than flashlights in a power outage.

By Joel Craig, NEWS 9 Contributor

When you don't have power you obviously need light.

Flashlights are good, but fluorescent lanterns are better. These lanterns run for hours on batteries and throw more area light than a plain flashlight.

Use alkaline batteries. They last longer than heavy duty ones and don't cost that much more. Plus today's alkalines have an eight to 10 year shelf life. Don't use those new "high tech" batteries that say they're good for digital products like digit music players and digital cameras. The chemistry in those batteries isn't designed for the prolonged power drain of lights or radios.

Think about getting an extra battery for your cell phone and keep it charged. The battery in your cell phone will run out and if you don't have power you can charge the battery.

For your home phone be sure you have at least one phone that is a regular old wired telephone. Cordless phones are very convenient but when the power goes out cordless phones stop working.

If your power does go out, unplug your electronics. Most of today's electronics like TVs and computers are always on. Even when you think you've turned them off they are really in standby mode. When the power comes back on that jolt of electricity, or multiple jolts, can damage the electronics.

Even if you have them connected to a surge protector the protector can only handle a limited number of hits before it fails. It's a lot less trouble to unplug your products than to replace them.

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