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A power outage in summer can be uncomfortable. A power outage in winter can be fatal. Without electricity, you’re not going to have heat. Going without heat for a day is one thing. Imagine not having heat for several days or even several weeks.
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1. Have a good supply of non-perishable food items. Freeze-dried or dehydrated foods are recommended. Also, make sure your water is not frozen as well.
2. Have a bug out bag with clothing, emergency lighting, emergency communication including portable radio, water, and food.
3. Have a car emergency kit with flares, emergency jump starter for a dead battery, blankets, warm clothing and jacket, boots with high tops, flashlight and road warning signs, portable tire inflator, jumper cables, bottled water, snacks, foot and hand warmers, snowmobile mitts, foot traction device, snowshoes.
Make sure your vehicle has at least ¾ tank of gas so you can idle and use the car heat to warm up. Also to evacuate.
4. Consider propane as a permanent or alternative home heating and cooking source. Some generators will also run on propane. Indoor heaters also run on propane. Make sure you have a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector. If you have a propane heater, make sure you have adequate ventilation.
Have firewood on hand if you have a fireplace. And make sure your home is insulated. The basement is a good place to heat and will hold the heat for the family to gather around.
5. Frozen food can be kept frozen outdoors. Keep your fridge door closed. It will remain cold for 24 to 36 hours. Remember again to keep your water thawed out. If need be, you can melt water as needed. You might want to turn off your water or drain your water heater. Also, keep your faucets at a slow drip to prevent pipes from freezing.
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6. Have an ample supply of mylar emergency blankets on hand for personal warmth and to hang on walls to improve insulation. You can also buy reflective and flexible insulation at a home center.
7. Candles for lighting but remember it’s a fire hazard. Block drafts when using candles.
8. Insulate the bottoms of doors with towels or blankets and insulate windows and window frames.
10. Consider ways to cook outside. This can be an open fire, a kettle or barrel grill, in your fireplace. Remember that natural gas on your stovetop range might work but you’ll need to light with a flame.
Always have a way to stay warm, cook your food and power your electronics. For more info, watch the video below:
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