As it relates to weather, we were fortunate to experience the 2003 Blackout during the summer month of August. A Blackout during the winter would require us to plan to take
some different protective actions. Power supply interruptions can last from a few hours to several days and are often caused by severe winter storms that may result in freezing rain, large snowfalls and/or high winds that can cause damage to the infrastructure supplying power to our homes.
Here are some tips that can help you plan to protect yourself and your family.
Before An Outage:
- Check flashlights and battery-powered portable radios to ensure that they are working, and that you have extra batteries. A radio is an important source of weather and emergency information during a storm.
- Make sure that your home is properly insulated. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows to keep cold air out.
- Keep an emergency supply kit that will sustain your family for a minimum of 3 days and preferably for seven days.
During An Outage:
- Do not use charcoal or gas barbeques, camping heating equipment, or home generators indoors. They give off carbon monoxide, which can cause serious health problems and even death.
- Do not use gas appliances such as stoves as a source of heat as they will deplete the oxygen in your home.
- Leave one light switch on so you know when power is restored.
- Dress for the season, wearing several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing, rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
After An Outage:
- Be extra cautious if you go outside to inspect for damage after a storm. Downed or hanging electrical wires can be hidden by snowdrifts, trees or debris, and could be live. Never attempt to touch or move downed lines. Keep children and pets away from them.
- Check with and help your neighbours and continue to stay off the streets when hazards are present.
- Restock and regularly inspect your emergency survival kit so the supplies will be there when needed again.