As winter weather approaches, now is the time to make sure that you are fully prepared to face a time without electricity. The following tips will ensure that you remain somewhat functional and comfortable during a winter weather power outage:
Check Your Water Pipes
If the electricity goes out during a winter storm, you will likely not be able to run your water, particularly if you are on a well water system. Standing water in the pipes is at risk of freezing during a winter storm, and this can cause several problems. Water expands as it freezes, and this often results in busted water pipes. Once you know a storm is on the way and a power outage is imminent, be sure to completely flush out your pipes. Once the power goes out, turn on your water at the faucet, and then allow the water to flow through until it runs out.
Prepare Your Generator
The next thing to do is to prepare your backup generator. Your generator will allow you to have access to limited electricity while the power is out to your home. Generators range from very basic models that run on gasoline to those that are installed into a home's propane gas system. If you haven't taken steps to get your generator, be sure to do so well in advance of a storm. This includes checking the oil and gas levels, checking the gaskets, and making sure it will operate.
Have Shelf-Stable Food Available
The last thing anyone wants to do before a major winter storm is to navigate the grocery store. Instead, steadily begin building up a stockpile of shelf-stable foods to have on hand in the event you are out of power for a length of time. The following are just a few ideas that will allow you and your family to eat a fairly healthy diet without the ability to cook on the stove:
- Peanut butter
- Canned fruits and vegetables
- Canned fish, such as salmon and tuna
- Canned pasta and soup
- Beef jerky, canned bean dip
- Dried fruit leather
Keep in mind that you can have most all of these items for many months in the pantry without them spoiling. You can also buy dehydrated meals from your local camping store that can last for years in your food storage.
Keeping these tips in mind can really help save you some time, energy, and frustration should a winter storm approach. Be sure to have enough gasoline on hand to run your generator. Also, bring your snow-clearing supplies inside your house so you can have access to them in the event snow and ice blocks the entrance to your home. Make sure your generator is in good shape by contacting a commercial generator repair service.