Yes, we know this may be a tad too early to talk about, but if you live in an area that’s often hit by winter storms, it’s important to make sure that you are always prepared so that you and your family stay safe.
We rely on electricity for almost everything—heating, lighting, food storage—and it’s important to be prepared in case your electricity supply is interrupted by bad weather.
Having a stock of fully charged batteries in a variety of different sizes will mean that you can keep your small appliances going even when the mains power goes out. They can be used to power flashlights and radios in particular, as well as clocks, all of which are essential in an emergency.
Your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors will also usually be powered by mains electricity, but have a battery backup. Be sure that you keep a stock of the right batteries for them.
For some families, it’s especially important that you can keep a source of power going. Particularly if you have young children or family members with particular medical needs, losing power can be complicated.
If you want to ease your mind about losing power, it’s worth thinking about installing an emergency backup generator. A generator will keep the power supply to your home going, even if the main power is out. Contact Platinum Electrical Contractors for a free consultation if you’d like to find out more about this.
You should also register with your local power company as someone with high-priority needs, as this will mean they will make restoring your home’s power a priority.
Get a Landline
Old fashioned telephones can be plugged directly into the phone socket in your home and won’t need any electricity to power them. They might not look great, but they can be a vital lifeline in an emergency. Be sure to keep one stashed away in a cupboard somewhere and let everyone know where it is.
Staying warm is one of the most difficult challenges during a winter power outage. Some things that you can do to keep yourself warm are:
- Dress in your warmest clothing, including coats, hats, and scarves.
- Keep doors and windows closed.
- Hang extra clothing over windows and doors to prevent cold air from getting in.
- Do not use gas-powered cookers or other gas heaters indoors, as there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- If you have an open fire, be sure that you have kept it swept and that you have a ready supply of fuel to burn.
You may find that it’s easier to stay warm if you go down to the basement, as this may have a greater level of insulation than the rest of your home.
Your fridge and freezer will keep food cold for between 24 and 36 hours once they lose power. You can maximize this time by keeping the doors shut as much as possible. It’s also possible to keep fridges and freezers cool by adding snow and ice from outside; just make sure it’s uncontaminated.
It’s a good idea to stock up on non-perishable food items in case the storm goes on for a while. Think about foods that can be kept in the cupboard and easily prepared without electricity. You shouldn’t stock up on foods that you wouldn’t ordinarily eat, as otherwise, you are likely to end up throwing them out. Just think about buying the non-perishable foods that you do eat in higher quantities when you shop in case of a power outage.
Some good examples of foods to stock in a power outage are:
- Peanut butter. Peanut butter is filling and a good source of protein.
- Cans or pouches of fish. Things like tuna last a long time, and again are filling and a great source of protein.
- Tinned fruit. Sugary fruit can be a great comfort, and it’s a good way of keeping your vitamin intake up.
- They last a long time, and when paired with your peanut butter or tinned fish, you almost have a meal.
- Nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. Again, these last a long time, so they’re perfect. Nuts are a filling snack and a great source of protein.
Be sure to stock up on plenty of water, too, in case the temperatures freeze the pipes and affect your water supply.
Fill Your Tank with Gas
It’s a good idea to ensure that your gas tank is regularly topped up throughout the winter months. Even if you can’t take the car out because of a winter storm, running your engine will give you access to your car’s radio and a way to charge your phone (as long as you keep a spare charger in your car—which is always a good idea).
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