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Staying Warm At Home During Winter: Emergency Planning

by Howard Barnett

When it comes to winter, you rely on your home and heating system to protect you and your family from the harsh, cold weather that is to come. After all, that is what your home and furnace are designed to do, to keep you safe and warm in even the most extreme weather conditions. In a perfect world, this is how things would always be. You would never have to worry about an emergency backup plan in case your heating or electricity failed you during the cold winter months. However, this is not a perfect world, and you need to have an emergency plan to keep you and your family safe and warm at home in the winter. 

Get a Generator

First and foremost, if you want to be prepared for disaster in the winter months, you should get a backup generator for your home. Propane generators work using fuel in propane tanks to provide you with needed power and warmth in your home should the electricity, natural gas, or both go out due to stormy weather during the winter. 

While a generator should be used sparingly, even in emergencies, it can make all the difference in the world for you and your family to have light or warmth in the house on a cold winter night. So, invest in a backup generator for your home and make sure you have space propane tanks around to keep it running in the event of an emergency situation. 

Have a Designated Disaster Room

When your heat goes out, it will be impractical, even with a backup generator, to try to heat the whole house. As such, you and your family should develop a plan for when such situations arise. 

Choose a single room in your home to gather the family in. This designated disaster room would ideally have doors that can close it off from the rest of the house to seal in warm air. Additionally, it should be large enough to accommodate everybody comfortably, but not too large as larger rooms are more difficult to heat. 

Equip Your Disaster Room

Once you have a room chosen, you will need to make sure that it is ready for such a disaster. When the heat goes out, you will want to try to seal any points where cold air can enter the room or warm air can escape. This means placing towels around window frames to block gaps in which cold air can enter, keeping curtains drawn, and placing towels or blankets along the base of the door to block drafts as well. 

You should also make sure to have plenty of extra blankets, hats and gloves in the room to bundle up in and keep warm. If you have enough power in your generator or have lost heating but not electricity, you may also wish to run a small space heater to keep the room at a comfortable temperature. 

Keep the room sealed off from the elements and the rest of the house as much as possible, and get cozy under the blankets until the troubling weather passes. 

If you have an emergency plan for your home in the winter months, you and your family will be well-prepared in case trouble strikes. Make sure to think ahead, and the stress of the moment will not overwhelm you if and when your power and/or heat goes out.