Imagine you’re lounging at home, enjoying a hot cup of coffee while watching your favorite television show. It’s winter outside, but inside, the heat is on and you’re nice and cozy. Then, the screen turns black and the lights go out. Suddenly, that hot cup of coffee isn’t enough to keep you warm anymore. You’ve just encountered a winter power outage.

Seven Steps You Can Take During the Next Winter Power Outage

It’s a winter power outage, so what do you do next? Although there are many things you can do, here are the top seven steps to take to preserve heat and stay safe when you lose power:

  1. Have Backup Batteries and Flashlights on Hand

With no lights on indoors, you’ll need a flashlight to see what’s around you. So, make you sure you keep a good supply of batteries and flashlights in a safe, secure place. Also, label the drawer or container you keep them in to make it easier to find them in a hurry.

  1. Charge All Cell Phones

When your house unexpectedly loses power, you don’t want to lose communication as well. Make it a habit to charge your phone after one bar depletes. Also, try placing your charger in the same drawer with your batteries and flashlight for easy access.

And, do the same for your laptop or other devices. Also, use an external battery charger during a power outage. Just make sure you fully charge it, so it’s ready.

  1. Use Wood Burning Equipment, Not Gas

Gas stoves and fireplaces can give off toxic carbon monoxide fumes. So, choose to burn wood instead. No fireplace? Try purchasing a wood-burning stove. There are many alternatives, so do your research to find the right heating/cooking alternatives for your area.

  1. Let Your Faucets Drip

Faucets can freeze if you don’t properly insulate them. Tufts University recommends allowing your faucets to drip to prevent this from occurring. If it still freezes, hot water is the preferred choice, but even a hand-dryer can work to unfreeze your pipes.

  1. Wear Warm Clothes

It goes without saying that warm clothes are a must during a power outage. Bring all your winter attire to the front of your closet before a winter power outage, so you’re not struggling in the dark to find warm clothes. Do you think you should wear your gloves? Think again. Tufts recommends choosing mittens instead, and for added warmth, wear a hat.

  1. Close Doors and Windows

Make sure all your doors and windows are firmly closed. This will conserve heat and block out the cold from entering your home. For further protection, place plastic over windows to provide greater insulation during a winter power outage.

  1. Stock Your Pantry

The refrigerator is another door you should close. Refrigerated food has a life-span of just four hours if not properly secure. So, load your pantry full of healthy, satiating snacks as a backup. Nuts, cereal, soups, seeds, protein bars, and canned goods are all excellent items to have within reach.

Remember these seven tips during the next winter power outage, so you’ll be safer and more comfortable. Preparation is the key, so plan for the next bad storm. Stock up and be ready, so you’ll feel more peace of mind when you hear that winter forecast.