Stormy Winter Weather: Preparing Your Home for Power Outages- By: Jamie Mathwig
The cold and stormy weather is settling in around the country and with the increase in inclement weather, so increases the likelihood of storm damage and power outages for home owners. Everyone, no matter how rare of an occurrence that power outages might be in your area, should have the necessary stuff on hand to deal easily with an overnight power outage in their home.
Every home should be equipped with the basic necessities that you will need in case of a power outage in the winter months. Because many areas across the country suffer with stormy weather during the cold season, it is important to be prepared in case your power is off for more than a short while.
Make sure that your home has a few flashlights in different areas of the house where they are easy to retrieve. Check to see if they are in working order with functional batteries as well. A flashlight with no power is no use to anyone. While flashlights are good for making your way around a dark house, it is good to have alternate sources of light as well. Candles are nice to set out in a power outage for a stationary light source and can provide a little bit of warmth as well. Tea lights are small but their shape makes them resistant to tipping over and they can usually be purchased for very little in large quantities; make sure that you have matches or lighters to light your candles as well. Battery powered camping lamps are also a good source of light.
Once you have light to find things in your dark house, the next most important thing is keeping warm. If you have a fireplace or woodstove, this will be an easier endeavour but many homes do not have wood heating in them. Make sure that you have a good stock of warm blankets in your home; during some particularly bad winter storms, some areas have had to do without power for a few days during very cold weather so having the necessary gear to keep you and your family warm is essential. A battery operated space heater is a good option if you live in an area that gets particularly cold during the winter.
Having at least a few days worth of emergency provisions is always a good idea to have in your home as well, no matter what the season. One gallon jug of water per person is a good start, along with some pre-packaged food like granola bars, protein bars, and canned food.
A small fire extinguisher should also be a part of your emergency kit, especially if you are planning on using candles in your home during a power outage. As well, it is also important that you have a well stocked first aid kit just in case of accidents.
If you live in an area with lots of trees, you will probably also want to invest in a good ladder and some tarps as well, in case something falls on your roof. Keeping the rain or snow out of your home and belongings can help avoid a lot of extra costs in damage.
The more prepared that you can be for a worst-case scenario, the easier the ordeal can be for you and your family. Take the time to put aside all the items you will need in an emergency power outage well in advance and have the items in an easy to find location in your home.
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