Preparing your family for a potential winter storm with blackouts or a power grid failure due to energy shortages is essential if you live in an area where winter storms are common or even possible.
Warnings have started to trickle out that there may be winter blackouts that could leave large portions of the Midwest and Texas without power. In 2021 Winter blackouts in Texas triggered life-threatening emergencies as people in the region struggled with the inability to heat their homes or stay warm while the power was out as winter storms with cold temperatures and snow are not common there.
The goal of this article is to help you prepare as best you can should there be blackouts during winter in your area, particularly if you live in an area where temperatures fall to freezing during winter storms. It should be noted that the winter storm in Texas in 2021 was unusual and many people were unprepared for the event.
THE BEST TIME TO PREPARE FOR WINTER BLACKOUTS IS NOW
The blackout warning for this winter, which has appeared on Bloomberg and many other news sites should serve as a warning to all parents to be prepared should blackouts occur in your area, especially if you have no alternative or functional heat source during an outage.
Most of the things I recommend in this article won’t ever expire, so you can stock up on them now and have them should a blackout occur.
KNOW HOW TO STAY WARM DURING A BLACKOUT
Having all family members in one room with layers of clothing helps keep the body heat in a central location and also makes it easier for a room to be kept warm. Layers of blankets over a sleeping bag will increase warmth. If you can snuggle together and share body heat, you’ll also increase your warmth.
Do not start a fire in your home unless you have the proper receptacle for one.
Outdoor groups always say that there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes. Coats, gloves, hats and more will be the ultimate help during a winter blackout.
10 THINGS YOU SHOULD HAVE ON HAND DURING A WINTER BLACKOUT
It’s important to point out that you will need these things BEFORE a winter storm or winter blackout occur.
- Sleeping bags.
- Mylar warming blanket.
- A cooking source – like a camp stove and fuel.
- A heat source.
- Hand warmers.
- Gloves, scarves.
OTHER ITEMS TO HAVE ON HAND
- A light source – flashlights, candles, matches, battery operated lights.
- A generator and fuel for it.
SAFETY TIPS FOR KEEPING WARM DURING A BLACKOUT
- It is never safe to run a vehicle in your garage to keep warm. Several people died during the 2021 Texas winter blackout because they were unaware that the emissions from their vehicle were toxic in an enclosed area.
- DO NOT start a fire in your home unless you have the proper receptacle for it such a wood burning fireplace.
HOW TO KEEP KIDS ENTERTAINED DURING A BLACKOUT
Keeping kids entertained during a blackout starts before the blackout. Make sure your kids have things they enjoy doing that can be done by candlelight. Reading, painting, playing instruments, knitting or sewing, and playing board games are just a few of the ways you can keep the kiddos entertained when the power is out.
You can use this time to help your kiddos start a weather diary and keep track of the temperature, precipitation and more.
If you have a tent that doesn’t require stakes, you can make your living room into a camp site. This will also help with warmth.