At the peak of Kansas City’s past weekend winter storm, 160,000 Kansas City Power & Light customers were without power. This is still the case today for a handful of those customers. Being without a steady supply of heat impacts not only you and your family, but your home can suffer from dampness – damaging walls, floors and plumbing. With another round of winter weather set to hit this coming weekend, it’s important to be prepared.
Take a look at Brookside Real Estate’s tips to keep your family and home safe during a winter power outage.
- Stay Warm: Dress in layers and huddle under extra blankets with your family members and pets to share body heat. Use towels or blankets to block any drafts around windows and doors. Find the warmest room in your house to stay in.
- Keep Your Food Cold: Food can stay frozen 24-36 hours if the refrigerator/freezer doors remained closed. For refrigerated items, consider using coolers with ice to preserve the more important items. It’s also important to stalk up on non-perishable foods such as bread, peanut butter, canned tuna, trail mix, protein bars and more prior to the start of the coming storm.
- Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Although tempting, don’t attempt to make makeshift heaters like clay pot heaters or use a gas stove to stay warm. We suggest having your fireplace and chimney cleaned before using. Fires and carbon monoxide are both very serious risks.
- Prevent Additional Damage: Unplug all appliances and electronics to avoid a surge when the power comes back on. If you have electric heat, keep all water taps on a slow drip to prevent pipes from freezing and potentially bursting. NOTE: if your power goes out while you’re cooking, disconnect your stove immediately.
- Consider Purchasing an Emergency Generator: Generators can supply enough power to keep our households operating until the electricity returns. Having a portable electrical generator on hand in the event of a major power outage can help your family weather the storm.
- Stay with Someone Who Has Power: If the temperature dips as low as predicted, and you do not have a generator, it might be best to leave your home. In the case of evacuation, turn off the main breaker, circuit breaker panel or power supply box. Turn off the water main and drain all water from the system. If you have a gas heater, turn out the pilot light. Lastly, be sure to remove all valuables off the basement floor in the case of flooding.
- Back in Business: When the power comes back on, verify once more that all appliances and electronics have been unplugged before turning the main power switch on to prevent power surge damage. Turn the water supply back on, keeping the taps on the lowest level of your home closed to allow air to be released out of the upper taps. Keep your heater slightly above normal temperature for a few hours to help your house dry. Don’t forget to check your food supplies for spoilage.
Be safe and stay warm this weekend, Kansas City!