Sunday, December 18, 2011

What to Do if You Lose Power in a Winter Storm


The winter often brings very harsh weather conditions, and winter storms can be particularly dangerous. Large amount of heavy snow and strong winds make travel so tricky that airports, schools and other businesses often close down with more frequency than during any other season. The conditions can also easily rip through power lines and cause widespread electrical outages. Losing power in your home in the winter can be a scary experience, especially when you rely on your heater to keep your family warm. The best thing you can do is know how to handle the worst case scenario in the event that the storm makes immediate repair impossible. It is essential that you know what to do if you lose power during a winter storm, so here are some things you can do to prepare.

Stock Up on Supplies

If you are aware that a bad winter storm is approaching, make sure you have supplies on-hand to assist you in the event it causes a power outage. Gather extra blankets and lots of layers of clothing for everyone. Make sure you have enough bottled water and nonperishable foods. If you have canned goods, don’t forget a manual can opener. Have flashlights and extra batteries, and also candles and matches. A first-aid kit is also a good idea to have handy, as well as a battery-powered radio. Charge up your cell phone to full power, and locate emergency numbers. Stock up on firewood if you have a fireplace, and you may even want to consider purchasing a portable heater that does not run on electricity and is approved for indoor use, like a propane heater.

Prevent Heat Escape

When the power does go out, try to keep the heat you already have in your home from escaping as best you can. Hang blankets or towels over windows, and put them under doors. Do not open the door or window unless absolutely necessary.

Check Your Fuse Box

If your power goes out, it’s possible a fuse was just blown in your house, so check your fuse box and try to restore power. If this doesn’t work, call the electric company to inform them of the outage. Do not call 911, as this line is reserved for emergencies only. Listen to your radio to stay informed about the storm and outside conditions.

Layer Up

It is essential to keep warm, so put on many layers of clothing. Do not forget hats, gloves, scarves, and boots. You’ll basically be dressing as if you’re outside. Cover up with blankets.

Hypothermia and Frostbite

Also prepare by learning the signs of hypothermia and frostbite. People suffering from hypothermia have slurred speech, be confused, dizzy, be breathing shallow, and have slow, irregular heartbeat. If someone is getting frostbitten, they will gray, white or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, and a “waxy” feeling. Call 911 or seek medical attention right away. Be sure to pay extra special attention to babies and the elderly, as they will be the most vulnerable. Try to prevent heat loss as much as possible, with blankets and even your own body heat, and focus on the core of the body rather than extremities.

Stay Positive

Suffering from a power outage during a winter storm can be a very stressful experience. Try to stay positive and do not panic. Keep up morale by telling stories and playing card and board games. Do what you can to take your mind off the situation, and you will get through it.


Researched and compiled by Terry Ford who delights in providing useful tips for every season of the year. Terry makes sure her content is accurate and grammatically correct using Grammarly grammar checker.  Winterizing your home is a great measure that will prepare you and your house in case of power issues.

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