How to Prepare for a Winter Power Failure

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Power supply interruptions can happen in winter due to high winds, freezing rain, or sleet that brings down power lines. Most disruptions are usually fixed within hours. To remain comfortable in your home during a failure make these preparations. Have warm clothing you can layer, and a supply of blankets. If you have a gas fireplace, check if it has a battery feature that lets you start it without using the switch. This can give you a heat source in at least one room. If you have a wood burning fireplace, keep a supply of dry seasoned wood. Be sure the fireplace was cleaned of creosote prior to the cold weather. Unplug appliances, lamps, computers, TVs and tools that were running when the outage happened. Leave just one night light plugged in so you know when power is restored. Have emergency lamps that use battery powered LED lights. They will provide light for a long time and are much safer than candles. Keep a supply of batteries on hand. Have foods that don’t need cooked and a supply of bottled water. Have a battery powered radio so you can get news and updates from broadcast sources. Leave one faucet on with a slow drip to keep pipes from freezing. Use mobile phones or devices only for emergency calls so you don’t delete the batteries. Your home should stay reasonably warm for up to 4-5 hours after a power failure in winter. If a failure becomes extended, you may need to go to an emergency shelter in a local school, church, or community center.

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