Winter power outages present their own special challenges because depending on where you live the cold temperatures can cause even more damage. There are some steps you need to take in advance to keep your home functioning during a prolonged power outage which are detailed below.
What To Do In A Winter Power Outage
- A generator is a very useful tool to have to keep power to your home. When properly sized you can run essentials like refrigeration, lights, pumps and even the furnace or boiler. For the heating system you will need a transfer switch and receptacle installed by a qualified electrician to allow you the ability to plug in an extension cord to run the furnace from a generator. Also, while these machines work great, they use a lot of fuel when running so make sure you have additional gas cans at the ready to keep it operating. Never fill a generator while it’s running. Operating a generator safely is very important, never inside a home or garage and at least 20 feet from the home. The exhaust from the machine can be fatal if allowed to enter the home.
- If you have a fireplace, make sure it is in good working order with a clean safe chimney and keep some extra fire wood on hand just in case you need it as a heat source.
- Extra batteries, lanterns, flashlights should be at the ready. Make sure you have a variety of batteries outside of your standard AA and AAA. Have a variety of extension cords that are designed for internal and external use, especially if you can use a generator.
- If your home uses well water it may not flow from the tap so make sure you have bottled water available for you and your family.
- A battery-operated radio with a USB port to charge your cell phone will help you stay up to date with emergency notices.
- Most people are prepared for a power outage in summer, but not so much in winter. If your heating is impacted by the outage your food in the refrigerator will likely spoil as well. Consider putting food items in a cooler packed with sufficient ice.
- Close any drapes and blinds to try and keep the heat you do have in your home from leaking out. Make sure any drafts under doors and windows are sealed to avoid more loss of heat.
Always take special precautions during power outages and use common sense before making any attempts to restore power to your home. Check in with your town communication center to see if warming centers are available. Follow manufacturers instructions before using any product.
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