How to prepare for winter power outages
It is never a good feeling when the power goes out and you have no idea when it will be back on. This is a list of some common sense ways you can be more prepared in these times.
Buy a Generator. A generator is one of those things that is definitely worth the investment. A small generator can power the essentials like lights and a refrigerator. If you want life to continue on as normal you can invest in something larger that an electrician can hook up to your electrical panel so you can support the entire house. Make sure to consult a professional before doing any wiring and always ensure that the generator is in a well ventilated area outside your home as to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning and possible death.
Keep unused space in your fridge and freezer stocked with bottles of water. This will allow food to be kept cold for longer and can be used as drinking water if you run out. For prolonged periods without power it would be wise to have a temperature gauge on the unit to know when food is no longer safe to eat.
Store large quantities of non perishable food and bottled water. If you don't own a generator and your main source of water is a well than you wont be able to get water if the power is out. You don't want to assume the stores will be open so make sure to have some extra canned food or anything that does not require refrigeration.
Have extra batteries and flashlights. Candles can be a fire hazard so stock up on some quality headlamps and extra batteries.
Get a portable power bank. This can be used for charging your phone for emergencies. You can also use a laptop for the same purpose if you are currently dealing with an outage.
Keep BBQ propane tanks full. If you are trying to cook the food in the fridge before it goes bad you can always use the BBQ outside like you would a gas stove top. Never bring a BBQ inside your home to cook or use for heating this will lead to carbon monoxide poisoning and possible death.
Have extra sleeping bags and blankets. If you don't have a generator than you will want plenty of blankets available to keep yourself warm and they can also be used to wrap the fridge to keep the cold in.
Being prepared can help keep you warm and well fed until the lights come back on. Always make sure to report the outage and not assume someone else will. Check on your neighbors who might not be prepared and do some research on what to do for extended outages and other emergencies in your local area. Always consult the power company first when confronted with downed power lines on the road or near your home. always read the users manual or consult a professional when hooking up a generator to an appliance or fixture. Never heat your home with a BBQ or propane heater this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning and possible death.