If you live on the eastern seaboard, you understand the importance of preparing for nor’easters. This includes what to do if a snowstorm causes a power outage in your home. A homeowner should always be prepared for a power outage, but it’s critical to have a plan for the possibility of experiencing one during the colder months. Here are 4 tips for how to handle a power outage during the winter.
Report The Outage
When you experience a power outage, you’ll want to check to see if your home is the only one affected or if your neighbors are experiencing the outage as well. If your power went out during a winter storm, it is likely that you are not the only one.
Unplug Major Appliances
One of the first things you should do when experiencing a long-term power outage during the winter is unplug all of your major appliances, such as your refrigerator and computers, to avoid damage from a potential power surge once the power is restored. A power surge can damage the wiring inside of your appliances. Additionally, keep sensitive electronics on a surge protector. You’ll want to check your surge protectors regularly to make sure they are still functional for when you need them most.
Safely Operate Your Generator
If you experience a power outage due to a winter storm, there is a chance it may be a few days before your power returns. If you decide to use a generator, be sure to only operate it outdoors, and keep it at least 20 feet away from your home and windows. Operating it inside your home, even in a ventilated area, can cause carbon monoxide buildup. Remember, it’s always important to follow the instructions on your machine for proper safety measures and to ensure correct operation.
Because it’s likely that you’ll be experiencing a long-term power outage during a winter storm, it can be life-threatening if you’re unable to keep warm. One of the easiest and fastest ways you can do so is by dressing in layers. Although it may be tempting, don’t attempt to heat your home with your oven or stove, as this can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
If you don’t have a generator to help heat your home and are unable to keep warm during the long-term outage, check with your local officials to find heating locations. In doing so during COVID-19, you’ll want to make sure that you’re following the guidelines instated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Your local heating center may require you to bring masks and hand sanitizer. Visit the CDC’s website for more information about attending a public disaster shelter during the pandemic.
Although power outages caused by winter storms are usually handled quickly and you’re not left without power for too long, it’s important to be prepared for power outages, floods, and fires to minimize damage.
Sometimes no matter how prepared we are, disaster strikes. That’s why ServiceMaster of Baltimore’s technicians are available for emergency restoration 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Call us at 410-780-1700.