You’ve just lost power.
Utility company is saying it will take days to restore electricity.
What can I do before my home freezes?
You are in a tough spot. It all depends on how well insulated your home is and how cold it is outside. There is some good news though. and if you have a Natural Gas or Propane range top you’ll still be able to heat up water with no electricity. Here are some tips that’ll help you stay at home.
- DOWNED POWER LINES – IF you lost power there’s good chance there may be a downed power line nearby. Live power lines can be deadly and they don’t have a circuit breaker or fuse that’ll blow like your home electricity. Here’s a Downed Power Lines guide to print and keep handy.
- WARM YOUR BODY – Dress in layers as the temperature drops. The colder it gets the more layers you’ll need to put on. Keep an eye on the young and elderly and watch for symptoms of Hypothermia from the Mayo Clinic.
- CONSERVE HEAT – Even though heat rises once the power is off your upper floors will cool the quickest.Close the doors to those rooms and close the curtains on any North facing windows. If you have extra blankets use them to cover up those North facing windows too.
- MOVE INTO THE BASEMENT OR A SUNNY ROOM – In the old days when most homes relied on fireplaces families would gather in one room that stayed the warmest and restrict their movement from room to room. Why the basement? The earths temperature using stays at a warmer temperature than air and the earth is a great insulator. If there’s a lot of snow the snow also acts as an insulator making the basement the best thermal room choice.
- HOT WATER – If your hot water heater is fueled with Natural Gas, or Propane you probably have a standing pilot light which means will still have hot water with no electricity! Our Natural Gas Delivery system is powered by Natural Gas so it doesn’t need electricity. Found out more from the How Does the Natural Gas Delivery System Work
- EAT HIGH ENERGY FOODS – Trail mix, nuts, peanut butter, dried fruits, and jerky are great no refrigeration choices in an emergency. With a bit of planning you could order a 7 day emergency food kit that contains everything you’d need.
- BONUS – If you have natural gas or propane range top you will still able to use your range top or top burners to heat up water and cook eggs, but won’t be able to use your oven since the temperature is controlled electronically. We’ve included a guide from utility companies that gives some advice on using your natural gas range. SCE&G – Safety During Power Outages NW Natural Gas Works in a Power Outage.
- If you have an electric range and stove you will need an alternative means to heat liquids. Please see our blogpost on alternative safe ways to cook indoors.
- WATCH YOUR PIPES – If your home temperature drops below 45 degrees you should either drain your water pipe or let them run at a slow drip to prevent freezing.
- TOO COLD FOR COMFORT – Don’t wait until you are freezing to decide to leave for a shelter or warm place. The road conditions may make your trip to a warm place that much more difficult or impossible. Remember, if its a cold winter well below freezing and you don;t have any alternative heat sources the average house may too cold in less than 24 hours.
If you live in an area that gets cold in the Winter, having an alternative heat source for when the power goes out is critical! Check out our blog post on the different types of alternative heating you can use in an emergency.