How to Stay Safe During Winter Blackout

Dec 12, 2016

Winter may be a favorite for your kids but as an adult, you know that you also need to be prepared for severe winter weather. One of the reasons behind that prepping remains the power outages that result from freezing rain, snow, and sleet due to winter storms. The accumulating snow acts as a barrier to teams from the power company responding to your calls and as restraint to their equipment. Meanwhile, you are stuck in your house without power to cook or even keep yourself warm. Following measures can help you during such a blackout. Interspersed are some other tips that can come in handy during these times.

Minimal Travel

If an outage has not hit your community but affected others nearby, minimal use of electricity could help prevent rolling blackouts.

Try to keep traveling to a minimal level in situations of power outages. A wise decision since the blackout-affected traffic and street lights could make staying on the road dangerous. Additionally, the inclement weather could have resulted in snow or ice encrusted roads that are difficult to maneuver on while fallen trees can make driving even more hazardous.

Matters of Eating

Depending on how long the storm lasts, you may or may not have enough food to last. Another pressing concern seems to center around the food that is already in your refrigerator. You do not want it to spoil either. Before winter arrives, stock your pantry with non-perishable items that you can enjoy during a power outage. Even more important is to have a manual can opener at hand.

If you are worried about the food in your refrigerator, here are some tips that will help during a power outage:

  • Infrequent opening of refrigerator
  • Finishing the refrigerator food first
  • Monitoring signs of food spoilage before consumption
  • Discarding all food if temperature falls below 40

Like your pantry, your freezer can be a good crutch during a power outage. At half-full, the freezer will keep the food from spoiling for a day and for 48 hours, if completely full. Save the food in your pantry for the last while the fridge food should be the first to go.

If using a kerosene heater or wood burning stove to heat or cook food, make sure the house stays well vented. Refuel outside.

Keeping Things Warm

Keep all appliances turned off so that when your power comes back on, the varying voltage does not cause a fire or damage them.

Bundle up once the heat is gone, using blankets, sweaters, and sweatshirts. If you have hats at hand, they will help you stay warm. Maintaining a fire in the fireplace will require cautionary measures associated with it and a working fireplace. Using a generator or coal burning stove inside your home is a bad idea on all fronts. If you must use one, then make sure to install battery-powered carbon monoxide detectors inside your home.

Water Troubles

To prevent water damage, shut the main water valve off.

Tap water may not be the usual purified kind if being used during a power outage. Boiling the water before using it is a precautionary measure that will kill off most bacteria.