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How to Stay Safe and Warm During a Winter Storm

woman reading a book on the couch

Winter storms can be unpredictable and dangerous. The best place to be is inside, where you’re safe from severe weather, car crashes, and slipping on ice. However, even staying hunkered down at home isn’t without its hazards. Here’s how to stay safe and warm until the storm passes.

Heat Your Home Safely

Your furnace or boiler may be your primary heat source during the winter, but if the power goes out, make sure you have at least one backup option to keep warm. This may include extra blankets, a wood-burning stove or fireplace, or a portable kerosene space heater. Make sure any combustion heaters you use are vented properly to the outside to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Light Your Home Safely

You can’t simply turn on the lights during a power outage. For this reason, you should keep backup light sources on hand. Avoid using emergency candles, which increase the risk of a house fire. Instead, opt for hand-crank lanterns or battery-powered flashlights.

Use Power Generators Safely

Generators are useful tools for providing power during a winter storm, but they can pose a safety hazard if used incorrectly. Start by only using gas-powered generators outdoors. To prevent exposure to CO gas, keep the equipment at least 20 feet from any open windows, doors, or vents. Plug in appliances using heavy-duty, outdoor-rated extension cords.

Cook Safely

Never use gas or charcoal grills, camp stoves, or similar cooking devices indoors. The fumes they generate can be deadly. To help prevent food spoilage, transfer perishable items from the refrigerator and freezer into a cooler with plenty of ice.

Trap the Heat Inside

If the power goes out and you don’t have a wood-burning stove or fireplace, do everything you can to conserve heat. Don’t open windows and doors, close the drapes over the windows, and shut doors to unneeded rooms.

Keep at-Risk People Warm

Help babies stay warm by dressing them in snug winter clothing and holding them close to share your body heat. If you can’t maintain a warm temperature in your home, arrange to stay elsewhere temporarily.

To keep older adults warm, dress them in winter clothes and cover them with a blanket. If you have elderly neighbors, check on them often during a winter storm to make sure their homes are heated properly.

Protect Your Plumbing

Extreme cold can cause water pipes to freeze and burst. To protect your plumbing, set the temperature to at least 55 degrees and open under-sink cabinets to let warm air reach the pipes there. Leave all faucets open slightly overnight to help prevent pressure buildup if the pipes freeze. Keep bottled water on hand in case frozen pipes block your water supply during a winter storm.

If your home sustains storm damage, or you end up with a burst pipe and resulting water damage, DKI Services can help you recover. Contact us today at 877-533-0210 to request the restoration services you need.