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If you live in a place subjected to severe winters, you know the importance of keeping heat inside and cold outside. And, should the most formidable of winter woes strike, you'll be glad you spent time preparing for unexpected home emergencies in freezing temperatures. While you're at it, consulting a homeowners insurance calculator to ensure adequate protection from winter's ravages is another good defensive move.

The Worst Case Scenario

Smart emergency planners know to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. In this case, one of the worst things that could happen is a power failure lasting several days amid an extreme cold spell.

The following measures will give you the best shot at surviving until power is restored.

  • Check flashlights and battery-powered portable radios to ensure they are working and keep extra batteries in the house.
  • Get emergency heating equipment (such as a gas fireplace, wood burning stove or fireplace) and stock up on fuel to keep one room livable. Make sure that room is well ventilated.
  • Do everything possible to keep cold air out. Weatherstrip window frames and exterior doors. Cover windows with plastic from the inside to insulate them.
  • Wrap pipes and let faucets trickle to avoid freezing.
  • Fill your bathtub and some spare containers with water. Use bathtub water for flushing the toilet and bathing. Drinking water should come from the containers.
  • Keep an extra supply of critical medications on hand and make sure they're properly stored to maintain potency.
  • Close doors as quickly as possible if you must go out, be very careful to avoid slips and falls. Dress for the weather in layers, rather than simply relying on a heavy coat.

Preparing your home in advance will give you the best possible chance of surviving a power outage during an extended snowstorm. Conducting yourself with common sense during the incident is sound counsel as well.

Another good piece of advice is using the homeowners insurance calculator at CoverHound to help you find the best coverage for your situation. You'll get a great policy at an affordable price, and the service is free.

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