Late Winter Storm? Prepare Ahead to Stay Safe When the Heat Goes Out!
Remember the Alberta Clipper of May 2013 that dumped over 10″ of snow in Minnesota? Are you ready for one of these? Let’s start with your regular heating equipment check-up with one of our licensed contractors here at ABEL Heating and Cooling to be sure your heat doesn’t fail at the worst moment. Keep filters clean, and thermostat batteries fresh.
What Else Can you do?
Be sure your home is winterized with insulation, caulking and weather-stripping. Insulate outdoor pipes and plumbing.
If the heat is off, choose the warmest room in your house and close off the rest of the rooms. Hang blankets over the door to your “warm” room. Pillows function well as insulation. Use bubble wrap, plastic and other items to cover windows. You can entertain the kids and provide more warmth by setting up a tent inside the house. Get out those sleeping bags.
Even though basements are normally colder, they can be “warmer” because of the insulating quality of the ground. 45 degrees ground temperature is a lot better than 20 below zero air temperature, so consider moving to the basement during a power outage freezing storm.
Loosely Layer your clothes and include wool and/or Thinsulate if you have it.
Emergency Supplies to Keep on Hand
The American Red Cross suggests that you have a 2 – 3 day minimum supply of non-perishable, easy to prepare foods, and a gallon of water per person per day. Ever notice how just before there is a storm there is a run on milk and bread? Here is a good check-list:
- Ready-to-eat canned foods, cereals, crackers, dry milk.
- Styrofoam coolers can be packed with ice or snow to keep foods fresher.
- Batteries for flashlights, radio, etc.
- Cell Phones and auto chargers (you can use your vehicle charger).
- Flashlights, battery powered lanterns.
- Battery powered radio.
- Enough prescription medication.
Things to do
Keep your vehicle gas tank full.
Once you know the storm is on the way, turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings. Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Use foods from the refrigerator first. When in doubt, throw it out.
Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment to avoid power surges when power returns, like computer and TV, appliances, etc.
Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gas, propane or charcoal-burning stoves inside your house or garage. These can cause fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Bring pets and companion animals inside ahead of the storm. Move others to sheltered areas and be sure their drinking water is kept unfrozen.
NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts alerts and warns listeners for NWS hazards. Often you can download weather apps that will warn you and your family by cell phone.
After the Storm
Don’t overexert yourself shoveling snow. Once you’ve dug your way out, help your disabled or elderly neighbors.
Toss out any food that has been exposed to warm air. Don’t take chances.
Restock emergency foods and supplies.
Assess how you and your family handled the emergency situation, and plan ahead how you can improve.
Call us at ABEL Heating and Cooling for a furnace checkup to be sure your system stays in good operating condition throughout the remaining winter months.
Contact Us or call 952-472-2665
Don’t ignore your local blizzard warnings!