Another wintry month of power outages ahead?


January’s been the coldest month in a century, and February could be just as bad. That means more heavy snows, ice storms and high winds that lead to more downed lines and power outages. The worse the weather, the longer it can take repair crews to reach and repair the lines, and the longer those outages may last.

So here are some extra precautions to take:

  • Turn off everything electrical – even the heating system’s thermostat. That prevents power-surge damage when the electricity comes back on. And the lighter the load on the power system, the easier it is to bring it back on line again.
  • One exception to this is leaving one inside light and one outside light turned on.That way, when power’s restored, both you and the repair crews will known at a glance.
  • A full freezer can keep food frozen up to 36 hours, so don’t open your freezer or refrigerator unless you absolutely have to.
  • Never, ever use emergency generators, charcoal or gas barbecues or camp stoves indoors. The colorless, odorless carbon monoxide they give off could kill you. That’s why a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector’s a good tbhing to have around.
  • To prevent fires, if you’re using candle light, use proper candle holders. Never leave lit candles unattended. Always keep them out of children’s reach and put them out before going to sleep.

If you’re evacuated,

  • Turn off the main breaker or main breaker-panel or power-supply box switch.
  • To prevent frozen pipes and water damage, drain the water from your plumbing, from the top floor down. Open all the faucets, and flush all the toilets several times. Unhook the washing machine hoses and drain them. valve, Open the drain valve in the basement. Drain your hot water tank (and if it’s gas-fired, turn off the pilot light; your gas company can always relight it.) Turn off the water main where it enters the house, and cover the valve, inlet pip and meter or pump with a blanket or insulation to protect them.
  • Add a little glycol or antifreeze to water left in the toilet bowls, sink and bathtub traps to prevent freezing there.

And if you’d like to avoid the need for these precautions, consider a Milestone Solar system with Backup Battery Bank. It can give you days of power to keep your food safe, your lights on and your essential appliances running. And every day there’s at least a little sunshine, it recharges itself to keep you going longer.