If your home’s power goes out this winter, are you prepared for a prolonged power loss? The average outage lasts about 2 to 5 hours, but winter storms can keep electricity out for days. It’s an inconvenience, but it’s also a big risk for your family’s safety.
During a power loss, your home is without heat, lights, alarms, and power to essential medical equipment. Vulnerable family members, especially children, older people, and people with medical conditions, can quickly be put at serious risk.
Here’s how you can prepare for emergencies and ensure your family stays safe and warm this winter.
Analyzing Your Risks
The first step is to analyze your home’s individual power risks. A generator technician can provide a comprehensive, point-by-point check of your home’s power usage and electrical capacity.
During the analysis, it’s important to note everything that uses electricity, like appliances, medical devices, and your home’s heating system. Consider which things in your home would be in critical need of power during an outage that lasts more than a couple of hours.
After the analysis, you can determine your level of need for an electrical generator. These high-powered devices can generate enough power to serve your household’s needs, even in extreme weather conditions. Discuss your needs with an experienced technician. They can direct you to the generator that will best serve you in the event of an emergency.
Developing a Family Plan
It’s also important to create a family emergency plan that can go into effect the moment a winter storm knocks out your power. The Department of Homeland Security recommends the following elements to a household plan for snowstorms and extreme cold:
- Determine how you will receive emergency alerts and warnings
- Have a shelter plan
- Know evacuation routes
- Review family communication methods
- Take extra precautions for very young or old people
- Assign responsibility for assisting others
- Plan for special dietary needs
- Extra medicine and preparation for medical needs
- Help your pets
- Keep a current list of government and service agencies
When an Outage Happens
As soon as a winter outage happens, do the following things to protect and prepare your household:
- Locate flashlights
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed
- Take steps to stay warm, like adding layers of clothing
- Gather blankets and pillows
- Keep people together in a small space, for body heat
- Disconnect appliances and equipment in case of power surges
- Start your generator as instructed by your contracted provider
- NEVER: burn charcoal indoors, use your oven for heat, or run a generator inside your home
After the outage ends, you should also follow these safety steps:
- Dispose of food that has been at a temperature of 40F for two hours or more
- Throw away any food or beverages that have an odd color or odor
- Make sure your refrigerator and freezer are still working
- Contact your doctor about spoiled medications
- Restock your emergency kit
- Review the success of your emergency plan
Don’t wait until extreme weather hits to have an emergency backup plan in place. Be ready year-round with a full set of emergency supplies, and make sure everyone in your family knows where to find them.
When the power goes out - especially for a long period - you don’t want to be left in the dark. Establish a residential service contract with a reputable generator company like National Standby Repair Inc. They will provide thorough inspection and maintenance of generators, ensuring that your generator is in top shape when winter weather hits.
Need a residential service contract for your home generator? Contact National Standby Repair Inc. today and face winter weather with peace of mind.