Here's how to safely turn your home into a warming station during very cold days, nights

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Saturday, January 20, 2024
Power outages reported: Here's what you need to do
Your power just went out. What do you do after you contacted the power company?

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 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.

If you lose power: Here's how to report and check power outages in your area

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.


If you're using a generator--do not bring it indoors or inside the garage, even with the door open.

  • Use generators outside of the home in well-ventilated areas

  • Keep them at least five feet from all doors, windows, and vent openings

  • Never use a generator in a garage, even with the door open

  • Make sure the exhaust is directed away from your home an install carbon monoxide alarms

  • Never refuel a generator when it is hot

  • Store fuel outside

  • If you are using a generator to power your entire home, make sure an electrician installs it properly

In addition to your fire detector, you should have a working carbon monoxide detector.

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