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Stay Safe and Warm During a Winter Power Outage

stay warm in a power outage

Using blankets is one way to stay warm if you lose power.

(Photo: monkeybusinessimages / iStock / Thinkstock)

Winter storms can be divisive.

While some enjoy the whimsical beauty of a fresh-fallen snow, others cringe at the sight of a single flake hitting the ground.

People’s thoughts on power outages tend to be less varied. Aside from some rare, overzealous board-game enthusiasts, most folks prefer to keep their lights, appliances and heat running, especially on frigid winter evenings.

Should you lose power this winter, here are some steps you can take to stay warm without putting yourself at risk, courtesy of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

  • Close off unused rooms to consolidate and retain heat.
  • Wear layered clothing and use blankets or sleeping bags to stay warm.
  • Never use generators or outdoor heating or cooking equipment, like a grill or propane heater, indoors. In addition to presenting a fire risk, it could expose you and your family to dangerous carbon monoxide.
  • Never heat your home using the stove or oven, either. If you use a generator, keep it outside in a well-ventilated area at least 20 feet away from any door, window or vent.
  • Limit your time outdoors. If you must venture outside, dress in layers and cover up any exposed skin to protect against frostbite. If your clothes get wet, replace them with dry ones.
  • Know how to recognize hypothermia. Warning signs in adults include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, slurred speech, memory loss and fumbling hands. In infants, signs include bright red and cold skin and low energy
  • If you’re losing heat and don’t think you can make it until the power returns, head to a relief shelter if you can make it safely. You can locate the nearest shelter by texting “SHELTER” and your ZIP code – for example, “SHELTER10001” – to 43362 (4FEMA).

Do you have some sound tips for staying warm during a power outage? Let us know in the comments! Also, learn more about alternative heating sources, like wood stoves. 

Now that you know how to protect yourself during a power outage, talk to a AAA insurance agent about protecting yourself from liability throughout the year. Get started here.

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