Make Sure You’re Prepared Before the Next Weather-Induced Power Outage


Photo by Ikhlasul Amal, via Flickr's Creative Commons
Photo by Ikhlasul Amal, via Flickr’s Creative Commons

With all the storms brewing around us recently, we thought it might be a good time to remind you how to prepare for and deal with a power outage. Power outages are a year-round concern, but taking extra caution as the winter months approach is always a good idea. Here are some tips for weathering a blackout.

PERISHABLE FOOD

If an outage lasts for two hours or less, you don’t need to be concerned about your perishable food. During longer outages, grab a cooler, or buy an inexpensive styrofoam one to have on hand, and fill it with ice and the food you’re worried about losing. Cooler temperatures help preserve food longer.

An unopened fridge will keep food cold for around four hours. An unopened freezer can keep food cold anywhere from 24 to 48 hours. The key is to keep the doors closed as much as possible.

BLACKOUT BOX

Create a kit (it doesn’t all actually have to fit inside one box) filled with items to help you get through the outage. Make sure everyone in your family knows where the items are. Here’s what the blackout box should have in it:

— Water: 1 gallon per person, per day

— Food: Non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (think granola, protein bars, dried fruit, crackers, dry cereal, nuts, and canned beans)

— Flashlights and extra batteries: Avoid using candles if you can since they can be dangerous.

— First-aid kit: A prepackaged one can be bought at any local drugstore and many supermarkets.

— Medications: If you or a family member requires medication, makes sure to have a few days supply on hand.

— Multi-purpose tool: A Swiss Army knife is a very functional buy.

— Sanitation and personal hygiene items: Toilet paper, paper towels, and other necessary items should always be stocked up.

— Emergency contact information: Create a list of personal emergency contact numbers as well as numbers for local emergency centers.

— Bonus: Solar-panel charger: If you have one of these, it can really come in handy, even if it’s just powerful enough to keep a phone charged.

DURING A POWER OUTAGE

— Turn off and unplug any sensitive electrical equipment. Surges and spikes can cause harm when the power comes back on.

— Leave at least one light turned on so you know when the power returns.

— Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car, since traffic lights will likely be out and roads will be overcrowded.

— Be extremely careful with carbon monoxide. Never use a generator, grill, or any other propane gas, natural gas, or charcoal-burning products inside your home.

For more information on how to deal with power outages, as well as floods, fires, and other inclement weather, visit the American Red Cross website.

A version of this article appeared first on the Ebby Halliday blog.

Buyers Willing to Pay Top Dollar Will Want to Take a Look at These Estates


When it comes to homebuying, price occupies the top spot on the priority list for almost everyone. However, in one quiet circle, there exists a group of home seekers for whom money isn’t the defining factor in the buy-or-not-to-buy equation. For this elite group, we present three available estates with list prices greater than $10 million.

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The estate at 6810 Turtle Creek Boulevard, located in Volk Estates of University Park, features 8,544 square feet of breathtaking splendor. This six-bedroom, five-bath classic Mediterranean home occupies nearly an acre on Turtle Creek. Inside, you’ll find wide plank flooring, exposed beams, Pecky Cypress paneled study, all-white gourmet kitchen and wine cellar. If you’d entertain the idea of co-ownership, there’s even a split bedroom suite. List price: $13,500,000

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3828 Turtle Creek Drive is also a must-see Mediterranean estate, boasting five separate lots for a total of 2.17 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds. The home was built in the 1920s and features 6,717 perfectly renovated and restored square feet. The estate offers three bedrooms, dining room/library combination, solarium, gym, 15,000-bottle wine room, and a grand backyard with resort-style pool and large entertaining area. Nature aficionados will love the rose, herb and hydrangea gardens. List price: $12,900,000

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If you’d like to live in Highland Park, consider the 9,027-square-foot home at 4412 Lakeside Drive. This home was built in 1918 but has been updated and restored to perfection. Here you’ll find five living areas, pergola, loggia, porte-cochère, resort-style pool and spa, guest quarters, two-story game room, and three-car garage. List price: $12,995,000

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A version of this story also appears on CultureMap Dallas.

You’re Invited to Envision Yourself Hosting Parties in University Park


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During a recent sales meeting, Dave Perry-Miller associate Bo Parker stood up and touted 4420 Windsor Parkway as the “ultimate party house.” That intrigued me enough to stop by for a tour.

Despite the sellers having New Orleans roots just like Bo’s, she didn’t mean “party” in the French Quarter/Mardi Gras sense. She was thinking more along the lines of having friends over to watch a football game. (Saints? Cowboys? Maybe both, with the NFL Sunday Ticket.)

There are three sets of double doors in the den that open right to the deck, where there’s plenty of seating and accommodations for another television. Just beyond the deck is a gorgeous pool. In the right weather conditions, I could definitely envision guests flowing seamlessly between the house’s interior and exterior.

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I was really struck by the spacious master suite, which is separated from the other three bedrooms by a short hallway and a set of steps. The master bedroom and bathroom seem so much more modern than the rest of the second floor that I assumed those rooms were added on. But Bo assures me they were merely the result of a quality renovation.

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The four-bedroom home is halfway between Highland Park High School and Highland Park Village. The track, playground, and tennis courts of Germany Park are just half a block away.

If you’d like to see this property for yourself, call Bo Parker at 214-924-6445 or email her at bo@daveperrymiller.com.

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