Basic Winter Power Outage Preparedness Tips
By Sara Tipton
Winter is approaching, so while we’re still in this beautiful season of autumn, we should look into making basic preparations for a potential winter power outage. If you are unprepared, you could be cold and uncomfortable, so here are some basic tips to help you prepare.
Winter power outages happen for a number of reasons, including a severe snowstorm. If that happens, you’ll want some things to help you get through. I have personally invested in soft, comfortable, heavy blankets that can be thrown on the beds to stay warm at night.
Here are a few additional tips to help you out:
If you are relying on electricity for heat, consider saving up and getting a wood-burning stove so you’ll have heat when the power goes out. Learn how to cut firewood, or find out where you can buy it. It’ll be easier to do this before a winter power outage. Also, make sure the wood burning stove you get will heat your home. Some only work in smaller homes. If you have more square footage, make sure you plan accordingly
Check Flashlights & Lighters
Make sure your flashlights and lighters work, and that you have a backup supply of batteries for the flashlights. Ensure your lighters have enough fuel in them and that the spark works. I have bought lighters in bulk and noticed they are full of fuel, yet don’t spark when you pull the trigger. Another good idea is to have a supply of candles just waiting to be burned, and a few jars or candelabras to hold them. If you have kids and pets, please make sure you plan in advance where to put the candles to keep everyone safe. I have some battery-powered LED candles, but they don’t work for long. In the event of a 48-hour power outage, they will be fine, but if it goes on much longer, you’ll be going through batteries like crazy, so stock up now!
Make sure you have an adequate amount of water to stay hydrated. Keep pets in mind too! Store your water safely, and if you need more information on that, check out other articles:
For a short-term emergency, I personally prefer canned foods. This is because they already have some liquid in them and can be dumped into a pot and cooked on a wood-burning stove. Dried goods and just-add-water meals will work too as long as you have enough water. Check out these 25 must-haves for your food pantry.
Have extra coats, sweaters, socks, hats, and mittens. Get some that are comfortable and can be worn inside to keep you warm. Having waterproof options to go outside and get firewood other supplies could be very useful too.
These are all basic tips to help keep you warm, hydrated, fed, and comfortable in the event of a winter power outages. These are short-term ideas. If a power outage stretches beyond a week, you’ll need to be even more prepared and have as many options for lighting and heat available to you as possible. Without power, we won’t have running water (laundry, showers, toilets, etc.) so preparations should be made, such as filling a bathtub before hand to wash clothes in. But most of us don’t know when a power outage will happen, so that isn’t always possible. But, you can make preparations to get water without power. If you have a well, you are lucky, If not, you may need to store as much as possible or use snow. Again, these are more long term solutions, and not really applicable if the power is out for a day or two.
Make sure you take into consideration that a power outage could stretch into a long-term disaster.
If you can, you should also check with older neighbors that may need help or neighbors with children who may not be prepared for not having any heat during the winter. Please continue to be a good human being even during a disaster, as they will be few and far between.