WINTER POWER OUTAGES
Power outages can happen any time of the year, but winter power outages can be especially dangerous. Outages can occur for a variety of reasons, but most often winter outages are weather-related, affecting a local area but occasionally can be more widespread.
WHAT TO DO WHEN THE POWER GOES OUT
When your power goes out, check to see if your neighbors are affected. If so, be sure to contact your power company. But keep in mind, if you are using cordless telephones, those phones may not work so call with a mobile phone if you have one.
DOWN POWER LINE DANGERS
If the outage is related to down power lines, on or near your property – do not go near them and warn neighbors of the problem. Call the utility company or 911 as soon as possible.
WINTER POWER OUTAGE PREPAREDNESS
If the power outage is widespread, it may take several hours before electricity is back on. In more severe cases, it can take days. It is recommended that you prepare, in advance, for a winter power outage by putting together an emergency preparedness kit that is easily accessible in the dark.
Include the following in your kit:
1) Plenty of Candles, Flashlights, and Portable Lighting
2) Warm Blankets, Hats, and Warm Gloves for All.
3) First Aid Kit
4) Battery Operated Radio or Television
5) Mobile Phone Charger
6) Indoor/Outdoor analog or battery operated thermometer
7) Backup supply of any critical medications
8) Power Outage Checklist
POWER OUTAGE CHECKLIST
• List of important telephone numbers (including your power company emergency number)
• Notify family members that are not home yet that there is an outage
• Reserve mobile phone usage for urgent calls only to preserve battery life
• Unplug electronics (computers, televisions, stereos, electronic games, printers, tablets, etc.) to prevent damage should the electricity spike back on
• Do not open your refrigerator or freezer (keeping it closed will keep food longer)
• Use a portable radio or television to learn more about the outage
• Keep everyone warm with blankets, sweaters, hats, and gloves
• If you have a wood burning fireplace, start a fire to keep warm
• Use candles, but be sure they are placed way from draperies, furniture or any other flammable materials
• If there are elderly people in the home, be sure they are properly tended to (elderly people are more susceptible to hypothermia)
• If you have elderly neighbors, if possible and safe, check in on them to be sure they too are prepared for such an outage
• If you have children in the home, play cards and board games to keep them occupied until service is restored
• If power is off at bedtime, break the rules and let the children cuddle up with you (shared body heat will keep the family warmer)
• If you cannot keep the house warm enough, consider packing up and taking the family to somewhere safe. But keep in mind, traffic lights may also be out and driving can be even more hazardous in winter during and outage
• Call 911 if anyone in the home is injured, sick, or displays signs of hypothermia. Click here to learn the signs of hypothermia>
PROPER HOME INSULATION
A well-insulated home will retain heat longer, which can be especially important during a winter power outage. Attic insulation should be at least and R-49 value to withstand a lengthy outage. Proper insulation will also help you reduce your utility bills all year. Click here to learn more about home insulation>
Block Air Leaks & Cracks
Be sure to caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows that leak. And, you should be sure that all air gaps and cracks around light fixtures, pipes, and other openings are properly sealed so heated air doesn’t escape into your attic. The goal is to keep warm air in and cold air out.
We offer affordable insulation and air leak sealing services to homeowners in Chicago & all Suburbs. We work year-round to ensure your comfort and help reduce utility costs. Call for a free home assessment today 630.830.3870