Winter storms offer beauty and excitement as the snow accumulates, but they can also lead to damaged power lines and the loss of electricity in your home. When the snow piles up and winds are strong, power lines may be compromised, leaving homeowners in the dark. The lack of electricity can be frustrating and dangerous, especially if you didn’t prepare for a power outage.
You can feel ready to weather any storm with a few simple steps. Here are helpful tips to prepare your home and family for a winter power outage so you can be safe and comfortable until the electricity comes back on.
Ways to Prepare for a Power Outage
1. Stock Up on Non-Perishable Food and Water
When a storm hits and the power goes out, you’ll need food and water. Stock up on non-perishable food items, such as canned goods, granola bars, jerky, and dried fruit. Fill water containers or purchase gallons of drinking water. You’ll want to have at least one gallon per person per day. Many homes have an electric water pump, so you may not have access to running water if the power is out.
2. Prepare for a Power Outage: Plan for Lighting
Lighting is an essential aspect of surviving a power outage. Keep one flashlight and extra batteries on hand for each family member. If outages are frequent in your area, consider investing in a generator to keep some lights on. Have solar-powered lights on hand to ensure you have enough lighting to navigate the house after dark. You can also place candles around your home, but keep them away from flammable materials and never leave lit candles unattended.
3. Keep the Water Lines from Freezing
When the power goes out, it can get frigid very quickly, causing your pipes to freeze and possibly resulting in costly repairs and water damage. To prevent this, keep the cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate. Leave the faucets dripping, as the movement of water helps relieve pressure and prevent burst water lines. If you leave your home during a power outage, shut off the main water supply and drain the pipes to prevent damage.
4. Maintain Warmth
Winter weather can be incredibly cold, so it’s essential to have a plan for staying warm. If you have a fireplace or wood stove, stock up on firewood and make sure you can successfully start a fire. Invest in propone-powered space heaters to keep your home warm, and test heating sources to verify they are in safe working order before a storm hits.
5. Essentials for a Power Outage
A power outage is unpredictable, so be prepared for anything. Keep your phone charged and have a backup cellphone battery available. Keep a battery-powered or hand-crank radio to listen to updates and local news during the outage. Keep blankets and extra clothing close by in case you need to layer up to stay warm. Don’t forget to check on your neighbors, especially if they’re elderly or have medical conditions.
Power outages can be stressful, but with simple preparations, you can make sure your home is ready for cold weather and strong storms. Create a plan and stock up on essentials before bad weather arrives. You’ll keep your family and home safe during unpredictable winter storms.