Blizzard 2016: 8 Tips To Prepare For Power Outages

Our weather forecast for the next few days is looking to be a historic snowfall in the DC/Metro area. There is a high probability of power outages. Here are 8 tips to prepare yourselves for the potential of a power outage:

 Image credit: Conde Nast Traveler  

Image credit: Conde Nast Traveler  

1.) Charge all your devices in advance and have cordless backup chargers ready to use. 

2.) If you have a young baby, with power outages it's important to know how to heat their formula or milk. One trick we will be using is filling up thermos and Swell bottles {which keep water hot up to 12 hours} so it is ready on hand for warming up baby formula and food, as well as multiple other needs. On the flip side, filling up coolers with ice and leaving them outdoors or in your garage will come in handy to keep milk and perishable food cold. {Even though it will be cold enough to just leave them in the snow!}

3.) Make sure your gas tank is full. It is clearly not a good idea to be on the roads during a major blizzard, however, having a car with a full tank is a necessity for emergency situations. It's not encouraged but, if you have power outages for extended periods of time, warming the family up in your car outdoors, not in the garage, is something to consider as long as you shovel the area around the car completely clear {especially the exhaust which can push carbon monoxide into the car if blocked!}

4.) Choose one room to stay in. Consider one which has a lot of sunlight coming through which will add to the warmth. Have extra blankets, towels, layers of clothes and sheets on hand for your family to put on and use. They can also be used to insulate windows and doors from cold air and keep the room warmer. If you have kerosene heaters, these are great to radiate heat up to 1,000 feet without power. If you own camping gear like tents and durable sleeping bags, those are fantastic to use during a power outage to stay warm. 

5.) Prep food in advance if you can so you have dishes ready to eat if you end up losing power. Also, have snacks on hand for your family that last without refrigeration like snack bars, chips, fruit, etc.. 

6.) Water bottles...great to have on hand to drink, wash and use for a variety of necessities.

7.) Batteries, flash lights, flameless candles, regular candles, first aid kits and battery operated radios.  We are so use to quick and ready technology nowadays that a battery operated radio has become virtually extinct.

8.) Create a list of emergency phone numbers to have on hand for your local area incase of major emergencies.

Most importantly, don't panic. Being prepared is key of course but, if you aren't, the best thing to do is stay calm and use common sense to get through a power outage. 

Stay safe & warm!! 

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