Electricity is a modern convenience we often take for granted — it’s easy to forget how valuable it is until it’s gone. When a power outage occurs, whether for a few seconds, several hours, or much longer, we quickly realize how much our electronic conveniences make life easier. Even the simple ability to light up the darkness with the flip of a switch is a feat that was impossible just a few generations ago, but one we rely on every day.

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Spring is just around the corner, and with it often comes rainstorms that can lead to disruptions in the local power grid. According to a study by Inside Energy, the incidence of power outages has been rising dramatically over the last two decades. In order to remain prepared for one of these events, it’s wise to put together plans for backup lighting/heating, food storage, cooking, and backup power for essential appliances and personal electronic devices.

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It’s also helpful to understand the causes of power outages, and the financial effects they can have if you’re not prepared. The following infographic from Kohler Generators lists some fast facts about power outages in the United States. Click here to download a full-size version of this graphic.

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Obviously, Kohler’s goal with this infographic is to show the value of a generator, but that might not be such a bad thing. It’s certainly wise to have some sort of backup power solution powered by gasoline, diesel, propane, or even solar panels to keep your lights on and your communication devices charged. This way, if a power outage is a side effect of a larger disaster, you’ll have one less thing to worry about.

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