The average power outage lasts two hours and 20 minutes, but increases by 260 percent to six hours and 10 minutes when a major event like a winter storm is involved, according to a study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. You can take steps to prepare for seasonal storms and power outages with these tips from www.KohlerGenerators.com:

• Keeping an emergency kit of needed medical supplies, bottled water and non-perishable foods to last for a week.

• Stocking up on batteries, flashlights and battery-powered lanterns.

• Investing in an automatic standby generator that attaches to your home’s existing natural gas or propane lines and turns on automatically when the power goes out.

— Brandpoint


Simple strategies to protect your valuables

Keep your prized possessions safe with these tips.

• Create an inventory. Start with a written and video inventory of your prized possessions and valuables, including jewelry, cash or hard assets like gold, electronics, family heirlooms, and collectibles, such as coins, watches, or anything else that has monetary or sentimental value. Prioritize it starting with the highest value items first.

• Maintain secure off-site storage. Using a safe deposit box to store smaller valuables, cash, and collectibles substantially reduces the risk of loss from such events.

• Follow basic security rules. To protect valuables at home: Don’t broadcast on social media that you are going out of town for work or vacation. Accompany repair or utility staff while in your home. Keep valuables out of sight and make sure to stop mail delivery while out of town.

— Brandpoint


How to prepare your home for older visitors

Are you hosting a senior guest? Consider these smart home updates from expert Sara Terry, Brookdale Senior Living’s senior vice president of resident and family engagement.

Clutter: Remove clutter (especially on the floor) to allow sufficient space for senior guests to maneuver around rooms. Remove rugs and remove or tape down all cords.

Light: Replace lights with higher watt bulbs and add motion-sensor lights to bathrooms. Adding affordable night-lights throughout your home is useful, too.

Stairs: Add railings on both sides of stairs that are at least 1.5-inch in diameter. Add contrast strips to steps (available at your local hardware store).

Bathrooms: Install well-placed grab bars next to the toilet and in bathing spaces. In the shower or tub, add non-slip strips and a fold-down seat for comfort and ease of use.

— Brandpoint


Smart bulbs can help save money, energy

Lighting is a major energy challenge. However, smart light bulbs let you adjust your home’s ambiance (and energy usage) with just a couple of quick taps. Paired with motion sensors that detect movement (or a lack thereof) and adjust lighting accordingly, smart bulbs can help reduce the waste of energy caused by lighting unused rooms.

— Family Features