When the weather outside is truly frightful, everyday life can come to a screeching halt. Heavy sleet, ice, and snow can inundate roads, making travel by car or even foot impossible. Even worse — downed lines can cut power or communication, leaving you cold and cut off from the rest of the world.
Since extreme winter weather can come blustering up in a hurry, the best plan of action is to be ready for the worst. These winter storm power outage preparedness strategies will help you and your loved ones stay safe and warm.
Winter Storm Power Outage Preparedness Tips
1. Take Care of Home Maintenance
Long before cold weather begins to move in, make sure your home is ready for it. Ensure that all areas are properly insulated and check all caulking and weather stripping to keep out frigid drafts. Installing storm windows will further help keep heat in. In addition to this, trim back any tree limbs that could freeze, break off, and do damage to your home or vehicles.
2. Gather Emergency Supplies
Because you may be snowed in for a few days, make sure you have everything you and your family may need to ride the storm out. This includes water and non-perishable food items (for both the human and animal members of your family), as well as any necessary medications. In case of a power failure, have flashlights, a radio, and plenty of batteries on hand.
3. Prevent Pipe Freezing
Home flooding and water system damage happen frequently when the water inside pipes freezes, causing them to crack or explode. Wrap exterior pipes with insulation or newspapers and cover them with plastic to keep them dry. Turn on a few of the faucets inside your home and allow them to drip until the extreme weather passes. Also, know where your water shutoff valves are in case you need to shut things down in a hurry. For worst case scenarios, know that temperature sensors and water detectors can be integrated with your security system and alert you if there is trouble.
4. Make a Plan to Keep Warm
Winter storm power outage preparedness is about more than simply dressing for the weather — although that’s important. Beyond mittens and layers, you need to plan for an alternate way to keep warm.
If you have a wood-burning stove or fireplace, make sure you have plenty of dry firewood on hand to keep at least one room in your home warm. Otherwise, you can run an electric heater using a gasoline-powered generator. Space heaters can be dangerous if they tip over or become covered with a blanket or piece of clothing, so take care with where they’re placed — especially if you have pets or small children. Ensuring that your smoke detectors are working will help provide additional peace of mind when using smaller electric heaters.
When using a generator to power anything, make sure to always operate it outdoors and set it up at least 20 feet from any doorway, window, or vent in order to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
5. Monitor for Carbon Monoxide
Because carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and deadly, ensure that your home is equipped with carbon monoxide detectors that will monitor for it. Carbon monoxide detectors that are hardwired into your home security system are best, as they’ll not only check for the presence of the dangerous gas but will also notify you, as well as rescue personnel, should it sense a buildup.
6. Be on the Lookout When Venturing Outdoors
When wandering out to look around or inspect for damage, be careful. A winter storm can cause downed power lines and then obscure them with snowdrifts or other debris such as tree limbs. Be especially aware of where children and pets are exploring. Check around to see if any of your neighbors need help — especially those who are elderly or have medical problems.
A winter storm power outage doesn’t have to be a disaster. With the proper winter storm power outage preparedness, you’ll be able to look at it as more of an inconvenient adventure.
At ProTech Security, we have a strong history of experience, innovation, and customer service. The ProTech Security Advantage is more than 30 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.