Let’s face it, if you live in a northern state, your bound to get hit by a winter storm that will knock out your electricity for anywhere from hours to days, to weeks. It’s not a matter of “if” it’s going to happen, it’s “when.”
Everyone should have some kind of a plan for when the “big one” hits. There is nothing more miserable than being stuck in a house with no electricity, heat or the ability to cook in a traditional way.
1.Have a source of heat. Not everyone can rush out to buy a costly generator, or are fortunate enough to have heat powered by propane. Generators and propane heat are great, not needing electricity to run. Propane can also be used to cook on when there is no power. Do not use a generator or charcoal inside the house, the deadly carbon monoxide can and will kill you. Most of us have to stick to standard blankets and quilts. Keep them in an area that are easy to access when the power flickers off, you’ll need them if the power will be out for an extended amount of time. Double up on the socks, sweatshirts and sweatpants if you can.
2.Stay home. Deadly accidents occur when people leave the home and drive on slippery and dangerous roads. If there is severe wind, it can topple trees that can fall on your car while driving. The roads will be slick, so walking wouldn’t be the best idea either. Sit on the couch and wait it out!
3.Keep a handy kit available. Inside, make sure you include D size batteries for flashlights and radios. Your radio might be the only source of information of what’s going on in the outside world. If you’re without electricity at night, and need to move around, the flashlights are a must. Also keep on hand candles, and matches.
4.Keep a small amount of cash in your home. If the electricity is out, and you need to run out for some supplies, you won’t be able to access the ATM machine.
5.Have a plan on how you’re going to heat or cook your food. Small sterno stoves can be found in the camping section of places like Wal-Mart. It pays to have a back up, with extra sterno cans. You might be unsure of how long the power is going to be out, and eventually you’ll have to eat! Keep food simple, now is not the time for a big roast dinner.
6.Have something to do. Sitting in the dark is boring, and if you have children it can seem eternally long. Play games by candlelight, pull out a deck of cards or tell stories. A small box of activities to do is a great idea to have on hand.
7.Don’t always depend on help. It isn’t always there. Depending on how bad the weather is in your area, emergency personnel might have more pressing issues to attend to. Unless it is a medical emergency that just cannot wait, hang in there and try to sit it out. If you’re life is at risk, do not try to wait though, call for necessary services!
For most storms, we have been fortunate to have power restored within a reasonable amount of time. However, history has shown that sometimes it can be weeks before the electricity is back on. Having a back up plan is a must. In cold weather, it’s no time to start planning on how to heat yourself if the power goes out and you’re not prepared. Take a little time and start planning now!