Winter storms can deliver unpredictable weather. The conditions vary from snow and ice to sleet, high winds, and rain. The most severe storms can cause widespread power outages that can sometimes last for several days.
Before winter sets in, consider these power outage tips to help you and your family weather a winter storm.
- Stock up on emergency essentials ahead of winter storms. Items like extra blankets, batteries, car chargers for cellphones, flashlights, matches, drinking water, and non-perishable food.
- If you live in a region that frequently experiences severe winter storms, consider purchasing a generator and having it installed by a professional as a backup power source for your home. Confirm your generator is installed in an area that allows proper ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Never use a generator inside your home or garage. Make sure your generator’s fuel tank is full and you have extra fuel on hand.
- Confirm your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are battery operated and test they’re working properly.
- Fill your vehicle’s gas tank before a storm. Avoid travel during and after a storm unless absolutely necessary.
- Be sure your wood and pellet stoves are clean and ready for supplemental use during an outage.
- If you lose power, contain your home’s heat by keeping exterior doors and windows closed, seal any drafts, and close off interior doors to rooms you aren’t using and that aren’t vulnerable to low temperatures.
- If pipes are located in cupboards, keep cupboard doors open until power is restored to help prevent freezing.
- If you need to utilize candles for light during a power outage, do not leave candles unattended or within reach of children or pets.
- Do not utilize open flame appliances such as a gas oven or portable grill inside your home to produce heat. These appliances produce toxic fumes, including carbon monoxide, and are combustible without proper ventilation.
- If you experience an ice storm, survey the exterior of your home for any branches or trees prone to fall on your home. Use extreme caution around electrical wires and report any downed wires to your utility company.