Regardless of the season, power outages are always a possibility when severe weather or high winds are in the forecast.
There's never a 'good time' for an outage, however, losing electricity during the winter can be extra brutal. Here are some tips we compiled from ready.gov and other sources to help you safely turn your home into a 'warming station' until power is restored. Many of these items are already in your home.
Here's what to do first
Use towels, blankets, sheets or plastic to block cold air from coming in. Spread them along the bottom of all your doors and windows. Use, duct tape, painter tape, tacks to secure them over windows if needed.
Creating a warming station or command center room
You should also close doors to rooms to keep cold air from flowing through the house.
Everyone should stay in one room as much as possible. Body heat will help keep the room warm and the door should be closed when you enter or leave.
Which room to pick? | Try to pick a room with the fewest walls to the outside and windows. Make sure the windows have curtains, preferably heavy curtains. That said, during the day you'll want to let sunlight in to help with the warming.
Consumer Reports suggests a southern-facing room that would be good during the day due to the sunlight coming in. They said you could use a compass app on your phone or a real one to find the southern-facing room if you don't already know where it is located in your home.
If you have a wood burning fireplace in your living room or den, that's a bonus for the command center. The fan won't work but you'll also be able to cook limited items.
If you have one---grab a tent!
If you have a tent, set it up inside the room you've chosen as your 'warming station.' If you don't' have a tent--a blanket fort can work too. Tents or tent-like set ups don't take long to heat up once people and blankets are inside.
Other options for staying warm in your command center
Sleeping bags, quilts, blankets and weighted blankets
Coats, sweaters, thermal undershirt, pants and socks, hoodies, sweats, velvet
Dress in layers, including hats, scarves, mittens and gloves
If you have a onesie or anything fleece or velvet wear it, but make sure it's not cotton base.
Avoid going for the alcohol. It might make you flush, but it's actually counterproductive to keeping you warm It lowers your body temperature and impairs your ability to shiver, which is one of your body's best ways to warm itself up.
Play games, sing, anything that keeps you moving will help keep you warm.
WHAT NOT TO DO IN POWER OUTAGE
If you're using a generator--do not bring it indoors or inside the garage, even with the door open.
In addition to your fire detector, you should have a working carbon monoxide detector.
Download the ABC11 App to stay on top of breaking weather stories and weather-related news.
More cold weather stories