Winter Power Outage Survival Guide

Power outages can be a scary experience. It can be made worse when you also have to combat freezing temperatures. However, you don’t have to just sit in your cold, dark house and hope the power comes on before you freeze. With sufficient planning you and your loved ones can come out of the ordeal warm and unharmed. 

Emergency Kit

Every household should have an emergency kit. This guarantees you will have the essentials any time you encounter an emergency situation or severe weather event. Make sure it’s easily accessible and fully stocked at all times. Here are some things that should be in every emergency kit. 

  • Flashlight 
  • A portable radio
  • Extra batteries
  • Car charger
  • Candles and matches
  • Non-perishable food
  • Warm clothing and blankets
  • Hand warmers
  • First aid kit

Refrigerated food

Typically, people affected by power outages are advised to avoid opening their refrigerator to help preserve their food. This is in an effort to stop food from spoiling, which can be expensive to replace and leave you hungry while you wait out the storm. However, in the winter you should seal food so animals and debris won’t contaminate it. Then, you should place it outside so it will stay cold. 

Cooking

A power outage can make cooking difficult. If you have gas appliances, you can light them with a match. However, if your appliances are electric you may need to look for other options. You can use a grill or fire pit. Otherwise, you can just eat food that doesn’t need to be cooked. 

Layer Clothing

You should wear a lot of layers. Then, you can continue to add or subtract clothing depending on your needs. You should also cover your extremities. Keep a hat and gloves nearby. 

Burn Wood

If you have a wood stove or fireplace consider burning wood to keep warm. If you have a gas fireplace you should purchase a battery backup.

Backup Generator

Portable backup generators can require a lot of maintenance, but they can provide energy and help keep you warm in an emergency. If you decide to use one, be cautious about where you place it. If you put it indoors the carbon monoxide levels will rise and can lead to death. It’s best to place it away from your home. 

Backup generators can be quite costly. In addition to the initial cost of buying the generator, it will need fuel at least twice a day, oil checks, and you need to protect it from snow. Pay close attention to the operation manual so you know how to maintain it. 

Vehicles

At times, you may get too cold. Layering clothing and blankets helps you keep warm, but it doesn’t do much if you’re already freezing. If you have a car, you have the option to turn it on and warm up for a bit. Make sure you keep it fueled up so it’ll turn on in freezing weather. A time may also come, when you need to leave your home and stay with someone who still has electricity. 

You can also use a car charger to charge your phone while you’re warming up. This will be really important to keep up with the news, connect with your loved ones, and call emergency services if needed.

Water

If you get water through the city, it will continue to run. However, if you have a well, the pump won’t work without electricity. If you think you might lose power there are a couple of precautions you can take.

Fill up your bathtub with water for washing clothes and flushing toilets. You should also keep a gallon of drinking water for each person in your home for every day you expect to be without power. 

If you still have water, let your faucets drip and keep cupboard doors open. This will help prevent your pipes from freezing. 

Call Ellis AC

Ellis AC is happy to provide these tips to help our customers stay safe during inclement weather. If your heating system still isn’t working to your satisfaction, when your power comes back on contact us. Our team of friendly professionals will provide you with quick and quality repairs. We know what it takes to help you save money on your heating bill and keep your home warm during the winter months. Contact us right away to schedule a consultation or to fix emergency repairs!

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