Unexpected power outages can be rough, particularly during the winter. But it's just part of life wherever snow and ice storms occur, as ice-laden power lines break and electricity blinks off when there's too much demand. There's no reason an inconvenience needs to become a life or death situation, however -- that is, if you're prepared. Learn how to be ready for the next power outage in your neighborhood.
What to Expect
There's no way of knowing how long you may be without power, but be prepared to survive for at least 72 hours without your HVAC system, lights, hot water, phone service (for cordless phones), or radio/TV communications.
Long before the storm hits, you should have assembled these supplies:
- Enough food and water to get your family through at least 72 hours -- preferably longer. Make sure the food is non-perishable and easily prepared.
- Battery-operated lanterns, small flashlights and plenty of batteries. Avoid using candles.
- Warm blankets, sleeping bags and clothing (dress in layers, wear warm socks and warm underclothing, as well as head coverings).
- Battery-operated emergency radio.
- Alternative heating source. If you have a wood stove or fireplace, make sure you have plenty of wood or pellets for fuel. If you plan to use an alternative combustion-powered heating device, make sure it's properly vented to the outdoors (do not use the same flue as your HVAC system).
- Charcoal or gas-powered grill for cooking outdoors, or a propane-powered camp stove (do not use indoors to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning).
- Ice to keep food cold in a cooler.
- Portable or whole-house generator.
- Turn off your HVAC system and other electrical appliances so they are not damaged by a power surge when the electricity comes back on.
- Keep your refrigerator or freezer doors closed to keep food cold as long as possible.
- Back-up generators should be professionally wired into your home, and should only be operated in well-ventilated conditions, never indoors or in a garage.
Preventative maintenance of your HVAC equipment offers peace of mind and is one less thing to worry about. Contact Arpi's Industries. We've served Calgary homeowners for more than 50 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about power outages and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide.
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