As New Englanders, for the next several months we will be bracing ourselves for the inevitable snowstorms and widespread power outages that go along with this time of year. While we may not be able to prevent this, there are some steps that you can take to prepare your home and your family in anticipation of losing power. These steps will protect your home from damage caused by the loss of power, or more specifically heat, while also making the situation more comfortable. This is particularly important when the power is out for an extended period of time.
Purchasing a generator, particularly one that is built into the home and kicks on automatically when the power is out, can make losing power a seamless event. However, this can be a costly investment. There are portable generators that can be plugged into the home and keep power running to the most critical items such as heat, hot water, the refrigerator and necessary lights.
One of the biggest concerns when power is lost is the rapidly dropping temperature inside the home. This can make your pipes susceptible to freezing, which can cause serious damage to the home. Space heaters and keeping the water flowing through the pipes by opening the faucets to a slow drip can go a long way to preventing this.
Non-perishable food, water, flashlights, extra batteries and glow sticks are all important items to have on hand during a power outage. Storing these items in a water-tight compartment means that they will be available when you need them.
If the power is out for consecutive days, it is a good idea to toss the food. If it is a shorter time the food may be salvageable. This is particularly true if you keep the refrigerator door closed during the outage. This simple step will go a long way to keeping the cold inside the appliance.
As an impending storm approaches, you can prepare by stocking up on non-perishable food, water and gasoline for the generator. You can also turn up the heat in the home as the storm hits. Keeping the home a degree or two higher than normal will mean that it will take longer to cool if the power does go out.
It is important to keep in mind that if the home hits a dangerously cold level you and your pets should seek a warm place to stay. This may be a hotel, staying with friends or going to a local shelter, which are often set up during a widespread power outage to provide a warm place for those without heat and hot water.
If your home is damaged by the effects of a winter storm and power outage, such as burst pipes and a flood, Soil-Away is there to help. The restoration professionals at Soil-Away will work hard to put your home back in order after a disaster.