What should you do if your power goes out during the cold front?
How to prepare for a power outage
The Federal Emergency Management Agency suggests several things to do to prepare in case of a winter storm power outage:
- Put together an emergency supply kit for your home and your car
- Keep a full tank of gas
- Prepare your home to keep out the cold
- Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace batteries if needed
- Gather supplies in case you need to stay home for several days without power
- Keep cabinet doors open and allow faucets to drip or trickle during cold weather to prevent pipes from freezing
What to do during a winter storm power outage
FEMA gave several tips on how to stay safe during a power outage:
- Wear layers of loose-fitting and lightweight clothes. These will keep you warmer than a bulky sweater
- Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed or garage, even if doors or windows are open. This is because of the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning
- Do not use a gas stovetop oven, camp stove or charcoal grill to heat your home
- Keep freezers and refrigerators closed. Refrigerators will keep food cold for around four hours, and a full freezer will keep the temperature for around 48 hours
- Turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment and electronics
- Seek medical attention immediately if anyone in your family experiences the symptoms of frostbite or hypothermia
- Symptoms of frostbite include numbness, white or grayish-yellow skin and firm or waxy skin
- Symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, memory loss, slurred speech and drowsiness
After power has returned to your home
FEMA suggests throwing out perishable food items from your refrigerator if the power has been out for over four hours and your freezer if the power has been out for over 48 hours.
Check your house for burst pipes. Additionally, if you think a pipe has frozen, thaw it out as soon as possible or call a plumber to help.