2011-11-24 / Family

Protecting Your Home From Winter Outages

There’s nothing cozier than sitting indoors with a steaming cup of hot chocolate on a cool winter day. But when the weather outside is frightful, losing power can be uncomfortable, if not downright dangerous.

So how can you help ensure your family a warm and safe winter season?

Prepare

Preparedness is your best defense in an emergency situation. Whether you expect an outage or not, you should install storm windows and insulate your home properly for the winter.

Pack an emergency kit that includes nonperishable food and water. The guideline is about one gallon of water per person per day. And don’t forget to have a manual can opener on hand for canned food.

Keep a first aid kit handy and teach all the members of your family how to use its contents. A flashlight, a battery operated radio, spare batteries, and a supply of your medications should round out your emergency kit.

Prevent

You can avoid the danger of an outage with a standby generator that links directly into your natural gas system. The generator will turn on automatically during a power failure or blackout. And with a natural gas generator, you don’t have to worry about running out of fuel like you would with a gasoline or diesel-powered one.

An added benefit of these types of generators is that they can serve as eco-friendly backups for off-the-grid homes powered by alternative energy sources. More information can be found by visiting www.comfortableresponsible.o rg and clicking on “generators.”

Protect

When the power goes out, use common sense and cover up if it’s really cold. Layers are best, starting with long underwear. Don’t forget to wear a hat because most body heat is lost through the top of the head.

Mittens and thick socks will protect your digits. If you experience a loss of feeling in your extremities or they appear unusually pale, seek medical attention right away. Likewise, uncontrollable shivering, slurred speech and disorientation are signs of hypothermia and deserve your immediate attention.

Remember, the best protection from a power outage is prevention by relying on a backup generator as an alternate energy source. But if your power does go out, make sure you are prepared with necessities and snuggle up with loved ones.

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