Winter Power Outage Survival
Keep on Hand:
- Emergency supply of foods that require no preparation.
- Flashlights and a battery-powered radio with fresh batteries.
- Anti-freeze to protect plumbing.
- A fully-charged fire extinguisher.
- UL-approved emergency heating equipment, such as a camp stove, kerosene heater, or firewood and adequate fuel to operate a fireplace or woodstove. Don’t store fuel in the house.
- Candles or lanterns to provide light.
When the Power Goes Off:
- Notify your local energy supplier.
- Turn off all electrical appliances.
- Turn on a battery powered radio for information.
- Don't panic. When doors and windows are kept closed, houses remain bearably warm for several hours.
- Conserve fuel by warming only one room and keeping temperatures low but bearable. Wear heavy clothing.
- Switch to emergency heating equipment before the house gets too cold.
- Check plumbing to ensure that water pipes are not freezing up.
- If there is a risk that pipes will freeze, follow these procedures:
- Turn off the main electrical switch.
- Turn off the water main where it enters the house and cover the valve, inlet pipe, and pump or meter with a blanket or other insulating material.
- Open the drain on the water heater and all taps inside the house, and flush toilets several times. Plunge toilet bowls, sink and bath drains, and then add anti-freeze
- Check appliance manuals and follow draining or frost-protection instructions for dishwashers, washing machines, etc.
- Blow out horizontal water lines that won't drain when valves are open. (Use a tire pump.)
When Power Returns:
- Turn off emergency heating equipment.
- Turn on the main water valve, closing taps on the lowest level of the house first.
- Let the water heater fill up before turning it on.
- Warm the house to a temperature slightly above normal for a few hours to dry it out.
- Flush the toilets, and drain sinks and tubs to dispose of anti-freeze.
- Check food supplies for spoilage — food kept in the freezer will remain frozen for 24 to 48 hours after a power failure if the freezer door remains closed.
- Turn on the main electrical switch.