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Winter Power Outage: 8 Ways to Stay Safe

Highway filled with snow

What’s the worst part of a winter power outage?

Let’s imagine more than a foot and half of snow clogs the roads. Let’s imagine the temperature sits right around 25 degrees. And let’s imagine the power goes out.

What would you miss most? What would be the worst part of a winter power outage for you? Take a second to think about it.

Day after day of endless cold is miserable and dangerous. After all your boiler can’t boil and your furnace can’t blow without electricity.

How well you’ll survive a long winter power outage, depends on whether you and your family have a standby generator to cover you when the power goes out.

If you aren’t protected by a generator, you need to a strategy to stay as warm and safe as possible. Here are 8 tips of how to stay safe during a winter power outage.

Blizzard Blackouts = Long Winter Power Outages

Before we get to the winter power outage tips, let’s take a second to consider why a winter outage takes so much longer to repair than a summer one.

  • When snowfall downs a power lines, it often does so in many places, creating more damage.
  • In addition, snow often buries the line it damages, delaying repair.
  • Finally, snow makes it harder for repair technicians to reach the damaged lines. They’ll be stuck in their homes as well.

Both summer and winter blackouts are dangerous. It’s a tossup between which one makes you feel miserable. The only difference: blackouts in the winter last a lot longer.

Onto the tips.

Winter Power Outage without a Backup Generator

If you don’t have a way to keep the heat and electricity running in your house, you need strategies to contend with the cold and darkness of a winter power outage.

1. Dress Right

This one’s a no-brainer. Dressing in layers helps you retain body heat.

As you likely know, the majority of your body heat escapes through your head and your feet, so wear your socks and hat — even inside.

2. Get the Sleeping Bags

If the extreme cold is making it hard to sleep, hop in your sleeping bag under the covers.

3. Spend most of your time in one room

Keeping the family together during the day consolidates body heat. Maybe you can play board games or c since you’re all together.

4. Block drafts/insulate

Don’t let the little heat you have left escape and don’t let in any more cold air.

Doors and windows in particular need your attention.

5. Use Candles Safely

Candles provide both heat and light — in small amounts.

Just practice basic fire safety and never leave the candles unattended. A house fire might warm you up —temporarily — but that wouldn’t be worth it!

6. Let the faucets trickle

This one doesn’t keep you more comfortable but it does keep your situation going from bad to worse.

If the heat in your house drops too drastically, the water in your pipes can freeze and burst— massive plumbing emergency.

Running water at a trickle through the faucet helps prevent freezing.

7. Beware of Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

Obviously, the cold feels miserable for everyone. However, the elderly and people with certain preexisting conditions are at risk of medical complications or even death.

If you have a heart condition or a respiratory illness, you may need to be evacuated to an emergency center.

Winter Power Outages With a Backup Generator

If you do have a powerful backup generator, a winter power outage will look a little different for you.

1. Enjoy the Warmth and Comfort

As soon as the power falls offline, your backup generator will activate on its own. While your neighbors contend with the cold and the darkness, you can play PS4 or stream Netflix on your 60 inch television, with the heat cranked up, while running a load of laundry in the dryer.

You won’t need to concern yourself with the steps to stay warm and safe. A record setting blizzard and power outage will just make for some marathon family bonding time.

The Scoop on Standby Generators

Connected to your natural gas or liquid propane line, standby generators burn fossil fuels to produce electricity. Your standby generator will atomically activate as soon as it detects the power is off — you won’t have to set foot in the raging blizzard to keep your lights on.

Unlike smaller generators with a limited fuel tank, standby generators NEVER run out of fuel. Your standby generator will run for as long as the power stays out.

Just like a standby generator switches on automatically when it detects the power is off, it automatically turns off when the power is restored. Everything about a standby generator is designed to provide you and your family comfort and convenience — in what would otherwise be a panic situation.

Onto the big pressing question…

What can you run with a standby generator?

  • 10 separate lighting circuits
  • An electric oven
  • Multiple televisions
  • Your heating system
  • Your washing machine
  • Your dryer
  • A Jacuzzi tub

Basically, ANYTHING you want, need, or could ever dream of.

For a limited time we’re offering homeowners a coupon for free in-home generator estimate. Get your coupon now to have a conversation about 100% protection.

Winter Power Outage: Wrap-up

Unless you have a backup generator, you need to stay vigilant to fight off the cold and darkness of the blackout. We hope our tips help keep you warm and sane.

If you have a backup generator, you can wait out the bitter storm in warmth and comfort. You should be nice and invite your neighbors over to get out of the cold.

Since this blog was all about good tips, we have a bonus tip for you. If you don’t have a backup generator, contact us to talk about pricing and installing a backup generator.