A BizTip from a BizTalker – Fabulously Frugal Power Loss Prep!

Hey gang, greetings from The Kristen Hagopian Show in Philadelphia!  You’ll never guess where I got the idea for this month’s Column.  Lordy.  Power outages like the ones created by Hurricane Ida remind me time and again of how rotten a pioneer woman I’d be.  Enjoy the visual.  However, with so many of us taking care of business (literally) at home these days, the need for easy, reliable, inexpensive backup power has never been more important.  It’s astonishing to me just how many times we’ve lost power the same day I needed to upload a Show!  Again, enjoy the visual.  Luckily, reliable backup power doesn’t have to equal huge setup costs. With some basic tools and strategies, you can power thru the next outage (pun intended), losing very little cash and/or sanity.

  1. Turn your car into a generator!  I received separate emails from Bizfans Sean C. of West Chester & Mike T. of Seattle – both telling me about their fabulous power inverter, which turns DC current from your car into AC current for electric gadgets!  How is it I never heard of these before?  It’s the next best thing to a generator when it comes to your business surviving a prolonged blackout.  Small units can easily recharge a computer or phone, larger ones can power a refrigerator or power tools.   Who knew?
  2. Fill the bathtub.  Not for drinking water – bleah – but for an easy and effortless way to flush the home/company toilet even without power.  One bucket poured into the toilet is an effective flush.  You may wrinkle your nose a bit at the advice, but that’s because you have power right now.  Won’t always be the case.  You’re welcome.
  3. Stock up on batteries.  This one is a no brainer, but you’d be amazed how many people have tons of flashlights at the ready, only to find that the batteries are shot.
  4. Get the grill ready to work!  Stock up on propane for that grill, because nothing says “civilization” in a prolonged blackout like eating fabulously hot food.
  5. Make sure your CO detectors are working – Blackouts often lead to carbon monoxide emergencies.  Why?  In order to get heat during outages, people crank up gas stoves, fireplaces, and all types of heaters – and anything that burns produces carbon monoxide.  So make sure you have a battery-operated CO detector ready to go.
  6. Protect the big appliances! When the power comes back on, it can often create power surges.  Those power surges can be a disaster for today’s gorgeous-yet-fragile sensitive electronics in TV, computers and appliances.  So be sure to unplug anything that might contain electronic components.
  7. Get cash!  In a prolonged blackout, when credit cards are basically useless, cash is king.
  8. Think seriously about getting that home/office generator, but do it smart.  There are precious few silver linings to a terrible storm like Hurricane Ida, however it will bring out the latest round of homebodies who decide they must upgrade to the latest & greatest generator for their home/office.  So what happens to their “old” generator (the one they bought last year for top prices and used a total of 15 hours…)?  They put it on Craigslist for about 90% off.  That’s how I got mine a couple of years ago, and it’s been an absolute lifesaver.  I’ve done dozens of safe & smart business/home purchases via Craigslist, and saved thousands in the process.   Take it from me, your quality of sleep when you don’t own a generator, vs. sleep quality knowing you do own a generator?  You can’t even put a price tag on that one.

See you on the airwaves, gang – and until next week, save those pennies, pay with cash, and you all stay frugal out there!

Kristen Hagopian is a Syndicated Radio Talk Show Host, Columnist & Author of Brilliant Frugal Living. She resides in her as-of-yet unfinished fixer upper in Chester County, PA with her husband and kids.  The Kristen Hagopian Show airs on BizTalkRadio and you can find her online at https://biztalkradio.com/kristen-hagopian/