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Winter Power Outages: Tips for Before, During, and After
In the middle of January when winter is at its peak, plunging temperatures can bring with them dangerous power outages. Are you prepared for when the heat goes out?
Causes of Winter Power Outages
- Freezing Temperatures. Most electrical equipment works best when operating above certain temperatures. If it gets too cold or there's added strain on the grid, the power could go out.
- Winter Weather. Winter storms bring ice and snow that can build up on power lines. This buildup can be so heavy that it causes the lines to break. Ice and snow buildup can also accumulate on trees near lines, and when these come down, the lines underneath them can come down too.
- Critters. Throughout the year, squirrels and other wildlife can wreak havoc on electrical systems, harming themselves and causing sometimes costly outages.
While some power outages can be easily prevented, others are inevitable and it’s always best to be prepared. Check out these preparation tips for before, during, and after an outage.
- Check your batteries. Flashlights and radios are never more important than during a power outage. Make sure to have some backups.
- Heating Fuel. Whether it's a fireplace, gas heater, or wood burning stove, make sure you have plenty of fuel to get through the outage and good ventilation in the room they’re located.
- Keep an eye on the pipes. Make sure your pipes are well insulated and let the faucets drip. If a pipe does burst, be sure you know where the cut-off valves are.
- Unplug sensitive electronic equipment like TVs, computers, and stereos to protect them from sudden power surges.
- Dress warmly. Layers are better than one big fluffy coat. Hats are important as well, as the top of the head is where much of your body heat escapes.
- Stay healthy. Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Seek medical attention as soon as possible if any signs do occur.
- Use caution! Downed power lines may be hidden by snowdrifts and debris. When checking for damage, be sure to keep an eye out for any lines and assume all power lines are live. Do not touch anything the lines are touching, including tree limbs and fencing.
- Stay off of the streets. Not only can driving be dangerous after a major ice or snow storm, streets should be kept clear for emergency vehicles until everything is back up and running. Keep your radio tuned to the local channels for updates.
Winter is here and power outages are always possible. It's important to do everything we can to keep the power on, especially when it's so cold outside. While Critter Guard may not be able to control the weather, with products like our Line Guard and Pole Guard, we can help ensure squirrels and other pests aren't adding to the risk. To learn more about our products and how they can help keep your power running throughout the year, contact us today!