If you find yourself without power due to a winter storm this season, you’ll be glad you have a winter storm emergency plan in place. The three main concerns during a power outage are having a safe food supply, water supply and heating source. Here are a few simple steps you can use to prepare:
For longer power outages that last for days, you’ll need a way to keep perishable goods from spoiling. Store a few disposable coolers in your home, and have a backup supply of ice. Remove items from your fridge and store them in the ice-packed coolers. You can keep food in your fridge cold for a time, but avoid opening the door too much, as this will allow warmer air to access the fridge. Keep a supply of non-perishable food on hand, and store a non-electric can opener nearby.
If temperatures are well below freezing when your power goes out, you’ll need to gather a supply of water. Gallon jugs will do for drinking water, and you can fill buckets or your bathtub for flushing toilets. Keep an eye out for conditions that can lead to your plumbing pipes freezing, which will not only leave you without water, but with a huge mess and costly damage on your hands.
If you have a wood-burning stove or fireplace, stock enough wood to last several days. Otherwise, you and your family will need to stay warm through other means. To stay warm, wear two layers of clothing, and keep a hat on to prevent heat loss. Wrap up in a cozy blanket. Gather the family in one room, and close the doors. Your body heat should warm up the space a little bit.
Unless you have a generator to power your home, you’re smart to develop a winter storm emergency plan. While most Calgarians know to keep a car emergency kit in place, it’s just as important to have a home emergency kit prepared. For help with all of your home heating and cooling concerns, contact Arpi’s Industries – serving Greater Calgary-area homeowners for almost 50 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about emergency plans and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.