Power Outage Prep

It’s barely October, but inclement weather is right around the corner. When a power outage happens, even if it’s just for a few hours, it’s worth it to be prepared:

  • Check your emergency supplies and replenish early on in the cold-weather season.
  • Heating your home is a primary concern during a cold-weather power outage. if you have one, a fireplace or a wood burning stove is the most common solution. Keep a ready supply of firewood for emergencies.
  • Check your supply of batteries for flashlights and radios. Be sure they are fresh.
  • Stock up on canned food that can easily be heated over a fire, along with a manual can opener. Have enough drinking water stored for several days at least.
  • Consider a generator if you live in an area where power outages are common. A portable generator may be all you need if you want to keep the refrigerator operating. Be sure to read all the safety instructions, especially about where to place the generator.

When a Storm Is Predicted

  • Cook food in advance that can be easily reheated over a fire.
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their lowest settings. If the power does go out, open the doors only when absolutely necessary, and close them quickly. The more you keep them shut, the longer the food will last. Fill the empty space in your freezer with containers of water. The less air space you have in your freezer, the longer your food will stay frozen.

While the Power Is Out

  • Wear several layers of loose, lightweight clothing as opposed to one heavy layer. Wear a hat and mittens to keep your head and hands warm.
  • Plan to live in just one or two rooms of your home, close to a heat source. Try to prevent heat from escaping to other parts of the house by closing doors or hanging blankets in doorways.
  • Keep pipes from freezing by turning inside faucets on just enough so that they drip. Know where the emergency shutoff valve is in case of a broken pipe.
  • Assume that any downed power lines are live. Stay away from them, along with anything they might be resting on.
  • If you are able, check in on elderly neighbors who may need assistance.

Quick checklist of the things you’ll need:

Also, Consider: