Preparing for Winter Power Outages

A bad summer storm, as well as a bad winter storm, can knock out a home’s electricity. This is something that can happen at any time of the year and at any location around the country. Everyone needs to develop an effective plan for handling such emergencies.

The experts at Kohler Generators have created a list of things a person can do to maintain their family’s security and safety during a power failure.

Create a Weather Emergency Plan

This plan should have a list of important phone numbers such as medical professionals, family members, veterinarians, and more. These are numbers you want to call in case of an evacuation. The weather emergency plan should also contain an escape route and a designated meeting place.

Have a Supply of Food and Water

Get a large backpack or buy a big plastic bucket with a lid from a home center or hardware store. Fill the backpack or bucket with three or more days’ worth of food and water. With the food and water, there should also be a flashlight as well as a hand-crank radio, money, and a first aid kit. It’s also important to have a supply of medications CD or USB drive with important documents. This should be stored in a place where it can easily be retrieved during an emergency situation.

Have the Plan to Turn Off Major Appliances

Such major appliances as heaters, air conditioners, and stoves need to be turned off. Other appliances such as computers, TVs, microwaves, and computers need to be unplugged. This will prevent damage from a power surge when electricity is restored.

Leave a Light on

This will enable you to know when the power has been turned back on.

Have Sufficient Batteries

This will help to run radios, flashlights, clocks, fans, and more.

Things to Avoid

Do not go near fallen wires, flooded areas, or debris. Avoid all down wires and anything touching them. Act as if they have electricity running through them.

Do Not Connect Portable Generators Directly To a Home’s Electrical System

Doing this could cause electricity to flow backward into the power lines. This is very dangerous. Only permit a qualified electrician to do the work or plug appliances directly into the portable generator.

Running a Portable Generator

Use only properly rated extension cords. It’s also important the portable generator is adequately vented to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Do not run a portable generator inside a home or an enclosed space with limited ventilation, such as a garage or a screened porch.

Know Where the Home’s Main Electrical Panel is Located

During a power outage, the main breaker may have to be turned off. Circuit breakers may need to reset after a power failure.

Check the Area near a Home’s Electric Meter

If it seems as if the electric meter has been damaged in any way as a result of the weather emergency, immediately contact the local utility provider.

Consider Installing an Automatic Generator

These generators are installed outside of the home and run on either natural gas or propane. They can also be attached to a gas line. These generators will automatically go on when the power shuts off. They are designed to provide emergency power to appliances and home electrical systems.

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About the author
Ben White has written thousands of articles on everything home improvement. He has had the privilege of writing for such websites as the Huffington Post, DeWalt,, HGTV, and many others.

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