March 5th, 2015
The fierce snowstorms brought on by this winter's record-breaking weather demonstrate the real dangers of being outside in sub-zero weather. However, how safe are we in our homes? With power outages happening around the country in states like Georgia and North Carolina this season it is clear that your family should be prepared for any winter emergency. Home insurance might protect you from financial burdens, but you should come up with a plan for your physical safety. Here are some tips on what to do if the power goes out in your home during a snowstorm.
Seal off your house
As soon as the power goes out, make sure you keep the heat you have left inside. All windows and doors should be shut, and blankets and curtains should cover all the windows. If you notice a draft coming from underneath a door, stuff a towel into the opening to stop cold air from getting in and warm air from getting out.
Save your home
The dangers of a power outage stretch beyond the safety of your family - your home is at risk, too. The American Red Cross recommends running a small, constant stream of water from your faucet to prevent pipes from freezing. Opening up the kitchen cabinets will also help circulate warm air by the plumbing.
Stay warm with fire
If you have a wood stove at your disposal, light it to create a heating source. If not, collect as many candles as you can and burn them in a single room. Lighting them in a small space will trap the heat better than placing them throughout your home. As a reminder, always use safety precautions when handling fire. Make sure you have proper ventilation to prevent a build-up of smoke.
One of the warmest fabrics is wool, so be sure to bundle up in it if you can. Hats, gloves and scarves are essential for keeping warm, especially when you're sleeping and might not notice the falling temperatures. Additionally, choose loose clothing over tight clothing, as form-fitting gear won't necessarily keep you as warm.
Stick to one room
You will find it's a lot easier to heat a small room than your entire house, so choose the most convenient location and stay there. Cover the windows and doorways with thick blankets to trap that heat inside.
Raise your internal temperature
Food supplies your body with the energy that you would typically burn off with physical activity.That same energy will warm your body up if you're idly sitting indoors. Eat plenty of high-calorie foods, and drink hot cocoa or tea for additional warmth.