When the power goes out in a winter weather emergency, you need to be prepared to keep your family safe and warm until the electricity turns back on again. From identifying emergency heat sources to stocking up on essential weather-emergency supplies, here are some tips on what to do when the power is out at your home this winter.
When it's cold and the power goes out, staying warm starts with bundling up. Now's a good time to find those coats, hats and mittens that you might have stashed away after last winter. Thick socks and thermal underwear can also help stave off the cold, so grab some for each member of your household. Remember that it's always easier to remove layers to stay comfortable than it is to warm up with extra layers once you're too cold, so dress wisely.
Invest in a Generator
You'll want to have access to an emergency heat source if you live in a cold climate and are going to be without power for any length of time. A generator can supply you with electricity to operate a space heater. Be sure you have plenty of fuel already on hand, and always operate generators outside.
While you may be tempted, remember that using your stove or oven is never the best way to heat a house during a power outage. Not only can unattended ovens pose a fire hazard, but an open gas oven is also a dangerous source of carbon monoxide that can be harmful to you and your family's health. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause dizziness, nausea, unconsciousness and, at high levels, even death.
Identify Shelters in Your Community
If conditions worsen or you are without heat for an extended period of time, you may need to seek out an emergency shelter in your area. Find out where the nearest shelters are before a storm strikes, as you may not be able to access that information in a power outage. While not luxurious, these shelters are typically equipped with enough heat and necessities to keep you and your loved ones comfortable until the power goes back on again. A list of open shelters can be found on the American Red Cross website.
A power outage can put your readiness to the test, especially during the winter. Knowing what to do when the power goes out is all about preparation, so keep these tips in mind as the winter storm season heads your way this year.
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