Preparing for Power Outages During Winter

By Lyle Weischwill | Nov. 10, 2023 2:20 pm PST

Image of home suffering a winter power outage.

Preparing for power outages during winter is essential to ensure the comfort, safety and well-being of yourself and your family. Winter storms, heavy snowfall, and icy conditions can lead to downed power lines and outages. No matter where you live, you’re always at risk for loss of electrical power.

Here are some expert tips to help you prepare.

Get a Whole-House Backup Generator

You typically don’t even think about power outages until you experience one. Once you’re without power, you’ll encounter many problems that you’ll wish you could avoid—unless you have a whole house back-up generator.

A whole home backup generator gives you the most complete protection against these problems caused by electrical power outages.

Keep Your Furnace Running During a Power Outage

One of the best advantages of a whole-house backup generator is that you’ll be able to continue heating your home during a power outage. Keep your home comfortable by maintaining power to your home’s furnace. Avoid miserably cold conditions in your home when a black-out occurs during winter. You can also avoid spending money staying in a hotel by having a backup generator.

Preserve Food and Medicine in Your Fridge

Maintaining power going to your refrigerator during a black-out gives you these advantages:

  • Food stored in your refrigerator can begin to spoil within a few hours during a power outage. Avoid food spoilage and health problems by keeping your refrigerator running using a whole-home back-up generator.
  • You’ll also be able to continue safely storing medications such as insulin that can spoil if not properly refrigerated.
  • Avoid the mess of ice cubes melting and leaking water into the fridge or freezer and onto the kitchen floor. When power is restored, partially melted ice and water will refreeze into a huge glob that won’t dispense.

For an extended outage of several days, you’ll be able to cook the food that you’ve been safely storing in the fridge. You likely won’t be able to buy fresh food for several days after power is restored in your area.

Continue Using Your Cooktop and Oven

With a back-up generator, you’ll be able to use your cooking appliances to continue making meals as usual. When you have no power, restaurants in your area will also be without power so being able to cook meals is a valuable advantage of an uninterrupted power supply in your home.

Power Essential Medical Devices

When you or a family member depends on an electrically-powered health care device, you’ll be able to seamlessly power the equipment with a whole-home backup generator.

Maintain Your Water Supply When You Depend on a Ground Well System

Being without electricity during a power outage is bad enough. When you have a well water supply, a power outage can also knock out your water supply. Keep your well pump running using a back-up generator.

Keep Your Septic Pump and Basement Sump Pump Running

You definitely don’t want to face septic tank problems during a power outage. Keep septic system pumps and components working during a power outage by installing a whole-house back-up generator.

Lack of electrical power can cause your basement to flood when you depend on a sump pump to keep it dry. Avoid expensive water damage to your home by installing a whole home generator to automatically kick in and keep the sump pump running when a winter storm knocks out power.

Prepare now for potential power outages by scheduling a free in-home consultation with a home generator expert. We’ll examine your home’s power needs and provide back-up power supply solutions that will fit your budget.

Image of family during a winter power outage

Buy a Portable Generator to Power Essential Items

Although a whole-house backup generator provides the best protection during a power outage, not everyone is able to afford or install one. You should at least have a portable generator to power items that are crucial to your safety and survival during a power outage. Portable generators are severely limited in power compared to whole-house back-up generators. You’ll also need to manually start a portable generator and then connect the appliances you want to supply with power. You’ll only be able to run a few appliances with a portable generator. You will also need to monitor the fuel supply and refill the gas tank of a portable generator during an extended outage.

When using a portable generator, keep it in a well-ventilated area to prevent carbon monoxide buildup.

Store Up Winter Emergency Supplies

Even if you have a whole-home backup generator, you’ll need to plan for the worst by having emergency supplies on hand in the event that the generator fails.

Store up these items in a place where your whole household can access them during a complete power outage in the winter.

  • Emergency Kit. Assemble a winter emergency kit that includes essential items such as water, flashlights, batteries, candles, blankets, warm clothing, non-perishable food, and a first aid kit. Make sure to have enough supplies to last for at least 72 hours.
  • Heating sources. Have alternative heating sources such as propane heater, wood stove, or kerosene heater. Store up an emergency supply of wood or fuel for your alternative heating sources. Ensure these are used safely and according to manufacturer guidelines. Don’t use heating sources indoors that cause a build-up of carbon monoxide.
  • Radio. Keep a battery-powered or hand-crank radio stored with your emergency supplies to stay informed about weather conditions and emergency announcements.

By storing up these emergency provisions, you can better cope with power outages during winter and ensure the safety and comfort of your household.

Properly preparing for winter power outages may enable you to help out neighbors and family members suffering from a lack of electricity. Also, it’s a good idea share this emergency preparedness advice with others in your neighborhood so everyone around you can be prepared for black-outs during winter. Stay safe this winter and help others to stay safe too.

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