Keeping warm during winter power outages

By: dorilymeru , 5:26 AM GMT on December 07, 2013

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One of the scariest things during winter can be a power outage. During the summer it's a nuisance--it means it gets uncomfortable to be indoors without air conditioning. But during warmer months, you can always go outside or splash water on yourself to keep cool. Winter power outages are another matter. It's too cold to remain safely outside for any length of time and if it's snowy, road conditions can keep you from going anywhere else to seek shelter. Winter outages can also take longer to repair than summertime ones because of the effect weather conditions have on repairmen and equipment.
So what do you do if the power goes out during the winter? Here are a few tips to help you be prepared.

Have 72-Hour kits on hand

These should include enough food and water for each person in your family which will be edible if you can't cook or refrigerate it. (One advantage of a wintertime blackout is you can move things from your fridge or freezer outdoors if the temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit and the blackout isn't resolved within an hour or two.) Some examples of good supplies are granola bars, dried fruit, trail mix, canned juice or meat, and gum. There should also be a gallon of water per person. Make the 72-hour kits portable by putting them in bags or backpacks so you can grab them and go in case of an evacuation.

Avoid heat loss

Within just a few hours, no matter how well insulated your home is, its interior temperature can drop below what is comfortable. Try to minimize heat loss by pulling curtains or putting blankets over windows and covering any cracks around your exterior doors. Avoid opening doors to the outside as much as possible. Dress young children in warm clothes and don't forget to bundle yourself, as well. If you're feeling jealous of the footed pajamas children can wear that helps zip in body heat, you might consider getting yourself some footed pajamas from JumpinJammerz.com. It sells a whole array of warm, fleece pajamas that are adult-sized and could really make a difference if your house gets cold during a power outage.

Stay home

Slick roads that often accompany the weather that causes winter power outages are even more dangerous when there's no electricity. Traffic lights will not work and at night there will be no street lights. When stoplights don't work, treat each intersection as a four-way stop. Car accidents are even more dangerous as well, as emergency vehicles may be tied up elsewhere dealing with downed power lines. However, if you have elderly neighbors who have medical conditions or need medical machinery that runs on electricity, you'll want to check on them and help keep them as warm as possible, too.

Sources: consumerenergycenter.org/tips/winter_lightsout.htm l
lds.about.com/od/preparednessfoodstorage/a/72hour _kit.htm

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