7 Tips to Help You Prepare for the Next Winter Power Outage

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Winter is here, and so is the uncertainty of the weather. You never know when a snowstorm or freezing temperatures might hit. 

Unfortunately, this also means staying prepared for power outages. While the world has advanced quite a bit, power outages due to weather are still something we cannot escape. And our dependence on technology makes the situation even scarier.

But don’t worry! If our ancestors could do it, so can we! And no, this does not mean we have to go back to our caveman roots.

Keep reading for some helpful advice on how to prepare for a power outage.

What's Inside?

First Aid Kit

To prepare for a power outage, start by making a first aid kit. Of course, it should have all your essential medications, burn cream, band aids, and sanitizer, but you’ll need to place a few other items in there as well.

You should have a flashlight for every person in the household — the more the better. Keeping a portable radio in the box is also useful. You never know when you will lose phone network. And in emergencies like these, radio signals come to the rescue. 

Also make sure you have lots of batteries for back-up. Add a few fully charged power banks to the list as well.

Stock Up on Food

If you’ve been warned of a power outage, this should be one of your first concerns. Remember, you won’t have electricity to cook your own food, so plan accordingly. Stock up on lots of non perishable food items like granola bars, nut butters, and crackers. And don’t forget to keep a manual can opener nearby.

It’s also a good idea to lower fridge temperatures before a cold storm. This way, when the power does go out, your food might last longer. However, as a general rule, food only stays good enough to eat for 6 hours in the fridge without power. Food in a full freezer will last 48 hours, while food in a half-full freezer will last for 24hrs.

You could also just put your refrigerated food in a cooler and place it out in the snow.

Keep Alternate Power Sources

Since we’re so dependent on power, it might be worth investing in a generator. It may not be a lot, but having a generator might give you the advantage of having at least a few functioning lights and a working refrigerator. You can check out a list of good diesel generators by following this link: https://krugerpower.com.au/diesel-generators.html 

You can also change your lighting system to ones that need less energy, like LEDs and compact fluorescents. This will create less pressure on the generator.

Ensure a Proper Water Supply

Knowing whether your water supply will be on is essential for survival. If you’re connected to the municipality, then it shouldn’t be a problem. But if you have your own well or tank, you most likely won’t get any water without power.

Load up on water supplies and buy drinking water a few days ahead. Plan an allotted amount each day, typically following the 2L for one person rule. Also, fill up a few buckets with water, as well as the washing machine and bathtub. You might need the extra water for washing dishes and using the washroom.

Insulation is Important

Winter time without a heating system is going to be crazy cold, so make sure your house is well insulated. It’s wise to install storm windows or cover them up with plastic, so there’s insulation. You should also caulk the doors and windows and apply weather strips to prevent cold air from getting in.

If your pipes aren’t well insulated, they might freeze or burst. So it’s important to know where the main water valve is and shut it off if the temperatures get too low. Then, open the faucets and let the water run out of the pipes. Another solution would be to pour some antifreeze into the sink and bathtub to keep your pipes safe. 

Protect Your Equipment Against Power Surges

This is an age old rule: If the power goes out, switch off all electronic equipment immediately. This means unplugging everything, starting from the TV and microwave to even the answering machine, or else, when the power does come back, there’s a very high chance of these equipments  getting damaged due to a power surge.

To be on the safer side, you could also invest in a surge protector, which only certified electricians can install. However, the hassle is worth it because the surge protector keeps the circuits and appliances safe.

Know Your Heating Options

You might have been enjoying electric heating all these days, but with a power outage, you will no longer have this luxury, so it’s time to look for other methods to warm yourself up. A fireplace would be ideal in this situation. If you do have one, stock up on wood supplies.

It’s also important to note that you won’t be able to cook if you have an electric stove top. Perhaps it’s a good time to invest in a propane grill, or  think about cooking in an open fire. Whatever your decision, make sure you have enough heating fuel. 

Power outages can seem very ominous and terrifying. But it’s really not that bad if you’re prepared well enough.

Listen to the news reports and warnings properly, and start stocking up on supplies early on. Remember: Everyone will be rushing to the stores, so the earlier you go, the better!

Although the tips above cover a lot, there might be personal items you need for survival. So make a list and keep in mind that anything connected to electricity is going to be off limits.

Hopefully this article has given you enough knowledge to bear the next few days devoid of electricity, so brace yourself and start preparing!

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