4 Things to Know if Your Power Goes Out in the Winter

Power is an essential part of the modern lifestyle. People use electricity to heat their homes, communicate with each other, and live healthy lives. When the power goes out, you need to be able to adapt. This is especially true in winter when the cold weather adds more danger to your situation. If your power goes out in the winter, here are some things you need to know.

1. Check If It’s An Outage

When your power goes out, it could be an outage or an issue with your circuits. To test it, you need to go to your circuit breaker panel and flip the breakers off. Leave them that way for 20 seconds, then turn them back on. If the power comes back, then it was an issue with your home’s electricity that is now resolved. However, if it does not, then there’s a power outage and you need to focus on keeping your home and family warm.

2. Consider a Backup Generator

Before the power goes out, you want to make sure you’re as prepared for the situation as possible. If you have the money to do so, you might consider buying a backup generator. A backup generator can provide unlimited backup power 24/7. This means your home won’t be badly impacted by an electrical outage in your area.

A backup generator can be especially useful for families with infants or who might have medical equipment that needs to be turned back on. However, even if you’re not in that situation, the backup generator will still allow you to run electric heating and do things like charge phones and radios so that you can stay connected. If you live in an area with cold winters, you should consider getting a backup generator for your home.

3. Prevent Pipes From Freezing

If the heat goes out, then your home will quickly get cold. This is true whether it’s due to a power outage or damage to your heating system. In fact, two to three million heating and cooling systems are replaced in the U.S. each year.

If your heating is damaged, it might be time to replace yours as well. However, if it is a power outage, you can’t stop that from happening. What you can do is take steps to keep your pipes from freezing in the cold weather. Run a small amount of water through them by keeping your faucet turned on low throughout the outage. This is especially necessary for pipes that are against exterior walls since those are likely to be colder. This will keep your pipes from freezing and, later, bursting.

4. Keep Supplies On Hand

As winter approaches, you want to be ready for power outages. This means you should keep supplies on hand at all times. Things like flashlights, shelf-stable food, and heavy blankets might not be necessary all the time, but you’re going to want them if the power goes out.

Take some time to consider what you have and what you need. If these aren’t part of your regular lifestyle, you will need to make an effort to get them, but it can be simple. If you add a few extra cans of food to your grocery list or buy a heavy blanket at a thrift shop, you can gradually build up your supplies. Then you’ll be ready for many emergencies, including a winter power outage.

A power outage can be especially hard in the winter. At best, it will disrupt your lifestyle for a little while. At worst, it can put your family in danger. Take these tips and apply them to your home to make sure you’re ready if it happens to you.