Winter Storm Power Outages: How To Stay Safe & Warm


March 7, 2014 STORM PREPAREDNESS


Power outages are never a good thing. In many parts of the country, winter storms can be fierce, downing power lines with snow and wind.

It’s always good to be prepared for power outages so that you’re not caught off guard when they happen. Check out our tips for staying safe and warm during a winter power outage.

Staying Safe & Warm during a Winter Power Outage

Retain Heat in Your Home & Body

There are a variety of steps you can take to stay warm, dry, and safe during a winter power outage. If you’re cold inside your home, taking a hot shower can be a good way to warm up, as your hot water tank will stay warm for a few hours even if it’s electric-powered.

Also make sure to bundle up in layers, with your head and hands covered to minimize body heat loss. On that note, don’t go outside unless it is absolutely necessary – it can have double the negative effects of making you colder and letting cold air into your house.

Move around! You can create body heat and have some fun in the process. Try some of these fun power outage games to play in the dark.

Keep Food Fresh

It’s also important to keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible during a power outage to keep your food cold. Food will stay cold for a while even after the power goes out, especially if your fridge is full, so keep the cold contained where it is needed.

If you’re in for a long-term power outage, move some of your food outside or to the garage to take advantage of the cold temperatures. Organize the food you want to move in advance, move it as close to the door/garage as possible and minimize trips/outdoor exposure.

>> Find more Food Safety Tips during a Power Outage.

Prevent Damage to Your Home

Frozen pipes of winter storms season.

  • Open cabinets to expose heat to pipes
  • Allow your water to run from time to time to release pressure in pipes

Prepare for the Next Power Outage

When your power is on make sure to take some time to assemble an emergency kit if you don’t have one already. (Again, don’t risk your safety by leaving your house right before or during a winter storm.) FEMA recommends stocking your emergency kit with supplies such as fresh water, a first aid kit, a flashlight with batteries, and non-perishable food items. For winter power outages, extra blankets are always helpful.

>> Find an emergency kit checklist and more home winterization tips to retain heat and energy during cold weather.

Keeping Your Power On: Long-term Back-up Power Solutions

If you live in an area that gets hit hard with winter storms, you may want to consider investing in a back-up generator for your home. This is especially true if you’re in a rural area with limited connections to the power grid and power outages that may take days for power companies to fix. Standby generators are a long-term solution to the problem of power outages and can be an extremely valuable investment for your home and family.

For the elderly, power outages can be especially dangerous during extreme heat or cold. Home generators can bring valuable peace of mind. By having a back-up generator installed, you also avoid the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning and fire that come with trying to heat your home in alternative ways with items such as kerosene heaters.

Standby generators automatically turn on when your power goes out, keeping your appliances running and your lights on. A GE generator helps ensure that you won’t have to worry about inconveniences like spoiled food, or even missing your favorite TV show. Learn more about choosing the right home generator and find which one is right for you with the help of a GE generator dealer.