How to survive power outages in the winter

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Wednesday, February 17, 2021
How to survive power outages in the winter
When a winter storm approaches, AccuWeather recommends preparing an emergency kit in case of a power outage.

Your home can be your personal sanctuary during the bitter cold, but when the power goes out, you may need to take matters into your own hands.

When a winter storm approaches, AccuWeather recommends preparing an emergency kit well ahead of time.

Power outage essentials include flashlights, batteries, a radio, and a three-day supply of water and non-perishable foods, like granola bars. Create (or update) an emergency supply kit to save valuable time later. The kit should include everything an individual or family would need for at least two weeks, especially medicines, water, non-perishable foods, blankets, travel bags and other supplies that might be hard to find after a storm strikes. Your emergency kit should also include items that can help protect you and others from COVID-19, such as hand sanitizer, bar or liquid soap, and face coverings aligned with CDC guidance.

Before the power goes out, set your refrigerator to the coldest setting and keep the door closed as much as possible to preserve food longer.

Charge cellphones, computers and other electronic devices in advance of storms to stay connected to important safety and response information. Consider purchasing portable chargers and make sure they are fully charged as well.

Safety essentials for ice storms

Here's what you need to stock up on before an ice storm, according to AccuWeather.

In a power outage, water pipes become more susceptible to freezing. Keep a small stream of water running to combat this.

If possible, have a backup power source, like a generator, for power-dependent medical devices. Never operate a generator inside or near windows, as they release very harmful carbon monoxide fumes.

Finally, always keep your gas tank at least half full.

If a power line falls across a car that you're in, stay in the car. If you MUST get out of the car due to a fire or other immediate life-threatening situation, do your best to jump clear of the car and land on both feet. Be sure that no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground.