Unexpected Power Outage Problems for Michigan Homeowners

Power outage problems quickly turn dangerous if you’re not prepared and Michigan is no stranger to power outages. In fact, Michigan has the fourth highest number of power outages in the country and more power outages per capita than any other state. If you’re not from Michigan, then this is probably surprising news to you.

In April of 2003, Michigan experienced one of the most devastating ice storms in recent memory. I remember having to sleep in my parents’ room as the ice piled up and massive trees fell all around us. Trees were actually exploding as the sap inside rapidly froze and expanded. The power went out early that night and stayed out for the next week. It was one of the most disruptive weather events in my life because we weren’t prepared.

Power outages cause problems for homeowners and business owners all over Michigan. Many of these problems become dangerous because people either don’t know what to expect or don’t know how to prepare. With this guide, we’ll show you what power outage problems to expect and how to prepare for them.

Power Outage Problems For Michigan Homeowners

Comfort Problems

The first and most obvious set of power outage problems affect our comfort. While these aren’t necessarily dangerous, they are certainly disruptive. We live very “connected” lives right now, with more and more reliance on electricity, the internet, and smart devices. When the power goes out, we get suddenly disconnected from the digital world around us. Combine this with sitting in the dark and it’s a recipe for discomfort.

The most commonly complained about power outage comfort problems include having no lights, no internet, and no access to the TVs, computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices we use for distraction. While these may not seem like a big deal for a short time, you may even enjoy the change of pace, the problems add up the longer the power stays out.

    Power Outage Problems Affecting Comfort:

  • Lights out
  • No internet
  • No TVs or gaming consoles
  • Clocks need to be reset
  • Smart devices get dumb

    How to Prepare:

  • Create a “Power Outage Kit” with all the necessities
    • Flashlights and batteries
    • Candles and lighters *DON’T LEAVE CANDLES BURNING ALL NIGHT*
    • Keep books, board games, cards, and other power-free distractibles
  • Connect important devices to Uninterruptible Power Supplies(UPS) or Battery Backups for continued use
  • Invest in a Whole House Generator

Structural Problems

One of the more serious sets of problems coming from a power outage is structural damage to the home and property. Structural problems from a power outage happen in a couple different ways.

First, most power outages in Michigan happen because of poor weather (surprise, surprise). Heavy rain, high winds, hail, snow, and ice are just a few of the biggest culprits. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for homes to be damaged by the weather as well. This weather-related damage, while not directly related to the power outage, is still something to keep in mind and be prepared for.

Second, power outages cause sump pumps to fail. Combine a failed sump pump with heavy rain and you have a recipe for flooding. Lots of Michiganders experience flood damage during power outages, especially in the basement. Flood damage then leads to issues with mold, mildew, compromised foundations, and even pest problems.

    Power Outage Problems Affecting Your Home’s Structure:

    Storm related damage, like fallen trees, is a common power outage problem because most power outages in Michigan happen due to severe weather.

  • Weather-related structural damage
    • Fallen trees
    • Wind-damaged roof shingles
    • Hail damage
    • Snow and ice damage
  • Sump pump failure leads to flooding
  • Flooding leads to mold infestation and other damage

    How to Prepare:

  • Create a “Power Outage Plan” with your family in case of extreme weather
  • Protect your important belongings from potential flooding by keeping them in a sealed plastic tub
  • Invest in a battery backup system for your sump pump
  • Reach out to any friends or family members for a safe place to stay, just in case
  • Invest in a Whole House Generator

Health and Safety Problems

People typically think of power outages as nothing more than an annoyance, but the truth is that they can be dangerous. That’s especially true here in Michigan. If you ever experienced a power outage in the middle of the winter which, let’s be honest, is pretty likely, then you know how dangerous a power outage can be.

First, consider your HVAC system. Losing your heat in the middle of a blizzard or your AC in the middle of the summer is more than just annoying and uncomfortable, it’s incredibly dangerous. When power goes out and the HVAC system no longer works, your home’s temperature is in Mother Nature’s hands. In a state that has been known to have a shift of 65 degree in temperature in a matter of days, this is bad news.

Second, if you have any medical supplies or devices that rely on electricity, then a black out becomes even more dangerous. Medicine that relies on refrigeration, like Insulin, could go bad if the power goes out and remains out for an extended period of time. Medical devices, like medication nebulizers, home oxygen machines, and electric wheelchairs all rely on electricity to function.

Finally, there are power surges to worry about. As the power goes on and off, the likelihood of a dangerous power surge goes up. Power surges not only damage connected appliances and devices, but they can also cause a fire.

    Power Outage Problems Affecting Health and Safety

  • No AC, furnace, or heater
  • Refrigerator stops working
    • Spoiled food
    • No refrigeration for medical supplies, like Insulin
  • No power for medical devices
  • Security system failure
  • Power surges
  • Water well failure means no running water

    How to Prepare:

  • Keep blankets and sleeping bags in an easy-to-reach spot in the house
  • Connect medical devices to Uninterruptible Power Supplies(UPS) or Battery Backups for uninterrupted use
  • Use surge protectors to protect your devices and appliances
  • Invest in a Whole House Generator

Avoid Power Outage Problems With a Whole Home Generator From Mister Sparky Electrical

Keep power outages, and the problems they bring, at bay by investing in a whole house generator from Mister Sparky Electrical. Professionally installed whole house generators automatically turn on as soon as the power goes out and then switches off when the power comes back. Because they’re hooked into your natural gas line, you don’t even have to worry about refueling!

You can call us today at 800-574-2470 or book an appointment with us online. For more electrical tips and tricks, check out our blog. You can also keep up with the latest and greatest deals and news by following us on Facebook and Twitter.