I've lived in the north my whole life and every so many years we do get long term power outages due to snow storms, wind storms and ice storms. I also have family in the south that gets affected by hurricanes, which also once in a while affect us northerners too. There is no way to stop mother nature but there are things you can do to prepare.
BEFORE YOU GO HOME
~~ Get extra cash! ATM machines do not work when there is no power and you cannot use credit cards when there is no power.
~~ Fill up your car gas tank and gas cans! Gas pumps do not work when there is no power.
~~ Fill up your kerosene gas tank! Again, gas pumps do not work when there is now power.
~~ Refill and/or grab an extra propane tank for your gas grill if you have one. You can use your gas grill to cook if you lose power and can't use your electric stove.
~~ Refill necessary prescriptions.
FOODS TO HAVE ON HAND
~~ Bottled water.
~~ Food items that are high in proteins... canned tuna, nuts, protein bars, granola bars, peanut butter & jelly (no jelly is not high in protein but goes great with peanut butter), canned soup and canned beans
~~ Bread and crackers
~~ Instant coffee
~~ KNOW WHERE YOUR MANUAL CAN OPENER IS!
~~ Get your flashlights and batteries all set up. Candles are ok if closely monitored by an adult but easily tipped over by pets and kids.
~~ Keep your phones, computer and tablets on charge until the power goes out! Consider a Multi Device Charging Station.
~~ Charge your power banks!
~~ Consider SOLAR Power Banks! I think these are the BEST things EVER! How many times in the past have all your power banks drained out on the first day? We all love to stay connected and when were are without power we feel the urge to share share all our pics and check in on facebook to see how our friends and families are fairing the storm. AND it is wise to check the news and weather at least a couple times a day and TV's won't be an option unless you have a generator.
HAVE AN ICE CREAM PARTY BEFORE THE STORM HITS!!!
NO ONE wants to lose precious ice cream in a power outage. It also sets a super fun tone with the kids so they don't get scared seeing mom and/or dad preparing for the armageddon.
FILL EXTRA SPACE IN YOUR FREEZER WITH WATER BOTTLES!
The more items that are frozen in the freezer, and minimal air space, will keep everything frozen longer. This will need to be done ahead of time obviously.
TIPS TO STAY WARM
~~ Turn up your thermostat 1 or 2 degrees ahead of time to get a little boost in your house.
~~ Buy a kerosene heater or bring yours in from the garage ahead of time, it's a good idea to let it settle a couple hours before lighting it anyways.
~~ Use your gas or wood fireplace for heat. If you need to bring in firewood ahead of time do it while you still have heat so you are opening your door less often after the power does go out.
~~ Hang thermal insulated curtains over bay windows (this makes a HUGE difference in heat loss for my house during a power outage). I also hang thermal curtains over the large opening to our great room to block that room off, it has a LOT of windows and is the coldest room in our house. This keeps the heat that we can create in the smaller living area where we can all gather together. Close off bedrooms and other rooms you don't necessarily need to have heated. When you're without heat for multiple days when it's below freezing out doors (or even below 50 for that matter) consider all sleeping in the same room. Limit your living space and focus on heating the smallest area possible.
~~ NEVER EVER use your cooking stove as a heat source!
~~ IF you use a generator be SURE to keep it the recommended distance away from your home!
If you're out of power a long time be sure to run your faucets every now and then, YES BOTH the hot and cold ones. You can also opt to keep them on a very slow drizzle if the home is actually at freezing temps. This keeps water moving in the lines so the pipes don't freeze! Keep the cabinet doors open under sinks where water pipes are to keep them a little warmer.
DON'T open your refrigerator or freezer unless absolutely necessary and if you do make it super quick!
Move foods from your refrigerator and/or freezer out to your garage IF it's cold enough.
IF YOU HAVE BEEN WITHOUT POWER FOR MORE THAN 5 HOURS my insurance company states that the foods are NOT EDIBLE! At this point my insurance company USAA will reimburse me up to $500.00 for food with NO deductible, this is separate from filing any other claim. Last year during our wind storm power outage USAA did not require me to submit any photos of the foods or to itemize. Check with your company and see what they offer if needed.
Ice volcanos on Lake Ontario. So incredible what nature can create!
You know it's cold when Niagara Falls freezes over!
This was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen!
My sister's street during one of the big Cat 5 Hurricanes last year!
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