emergency awareness

Winter Preparedness

Preparation for Winter Weather | Family Emergency Kit | Vehicle Survival Kit

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.