Winter Power Outages: What To Do

Power outages during the winter are fairly common and can be caused by anything from a severe snowstorm to a downed transformer. The real risk to safety of power outages during the winter is the cold that infiltrates everything. The lack of central heating in homes and businesses during an outage is the most pressing concern, but by no mean the only one.

Dealing with an outage this winter necessitates a certain degree of winter weather preparation to remain safe and warm. While most outages don’t last for more than a couple hours before power is restored, depending on the nature of the outage, power could be down for many hours or even days. This is where comprehensive preparation is necessary to withstand a prolonged period without power. Beyond phoning the power company every two hours to find out the status of the fix, here are some useful tips for dealing with winter power outages.

Keep an emergency preparedness kit.

Having a go-to emergency kit is always a good plan for any adverse situation. For winter power outages, these kits can be particularly advantageous. Keep extra non-perishable food, water, first aid kits, flashlights, batteries, lanterns, and plenty of warm blankets in your kit. These kits may not be necessary during a power outage, but are a great fail safe just in case.

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Maintain a power generator.

Keeping a power generator for emergencies such as prolonged power outages can be a good idea. If you need to run a medical device or require power urgently, a generator can be a great investment. You don’t want to rely on these too much, but they are good to have on hand.

Insulate pipes and retain indoor heat.

During an outage, you should attempt to retain as much indoor heat as possible by limiting opening exterior doors and sealing any gaps where cold air can filter in, such as in a doorway. Also, be sure to take steps to protect your pipes from freezing by adding foam insulation to them and keeping cabinet doors closed where pipes are enclosed.

Use alternative heating if it is available.

If you have a fireplace or wood burning stove, these are perfect for instances when the power is down. Fireplaces are an excellent way to heat your home, or individual rooms in the winter and save on energy bills. In an outage, a fireplace can be a huge benefit to help you weather the lack of power more comfortably. Make sure to have plenty of firewood stockpiled and always extinguish the fire before leaving the house.

Maintain caloric intake and stay hydrated and warm.

During the cold, you need to maintain proper calorie intake to help keep your body warm. Eating warm, high calorie foods can help with this. Also, remember to stay hydrated and do your best to keep your body temperature up. Layering clothes is a good way to do this.