Power outages can come at the most inopportune moments; from the middle of an important hockey game to the cold, icy heart of winter. Finding yourself suddenly without the ability to keep warm is a dangerous and scary scenario, but thankfully there are a few ways to combat the darkness and keep yourself, and your family, safe and warm.
Often, power outages are caused by sleet, intense snow storms or blizzards, and high-velocity winds that damage power lines. Understanding that these acts of nature can take out your power isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it gives you the ability to prepare. To help with that, eieihome has devised a power-outage preparation guide for you.
Just because the power is out, doesn’t mean nothing in your house or apartment is going to work. By installing a wood-burning fireplace or a non-electric standby stove and heater, you can easily beat out the cold. However, with a wood-burning fireplace you’re going to need to make sure you keep your chimney clean to reduce the risks of chimney fires from creosote buildup.
Many people know that a standby generator can be a good idea, but an even better idea is to check with your furnace, lighting and appliance dealers to make sure your emergency generator won’t cause any issues when turned on. You can use the eieihome directory to find an electrician who can ensure that your generator will be compatible with your home’s appliances and install it correctly. If you want to go the way of a standby heating unit, and it’s going to be using the normal house oil or gas supply; be certain to have it installed and connected by a certified tradesperson.
During The Power Outage
When the power does eventually go out, make certain that you take a moment before thinking the worst and check to see if your neighbours are also experiencing similar problems. If their lights are still on, then you will want to take a look at your breakers and panel fuse box. If nothing seems out of place, carefully check the wires leading to your house and if any seem damaged or dislodged, stay safely away and call your electric supply authority.
Be certain to turn off all electronic tools and appliances so that when power is restored, they won’t be damaged by a power surge. Refrain from opening your fridge or freezer on a regular basis as a full freezer can keep food cold for up to 24-36 hours if the door isn’t opened. Never use camping materials like charcoal or gas barbeques, camping heating equipment or home generators indoors. These give off carbon monoxide, and because you can’t smell or see it they can be life-threatening.
In Case of Emergency
It is always a good idea to keep an emergency kit on hand, and included in this kit should be the typical supplies. Water, food, a manual can-opener, wind-up or battery powered flashlight and radio. Not only are those items essential, but it’s also important to have; a first-aid kit, cash in small bills, toiletries, a whistle, garbage bags and, of course, candles.
Make sure that you and your family are prepared for any emergency by laying out an easy to follow scenario that includes the occasional drill to keep them sharp and ready. Power outages are common, and while the power often comes back quickly, it’s imperative in harsh winters to be prepared for any scenario.