According to a recent study1, just four percent of homeowners surveyed selected heat as the household item they would miss the most during a power outage, compared to more than half (51%) who said they would miss their TV the most. Yes, long hours in the dark can be incredibly boring without the entertainment of a news program or favorite show, but when considering power outages during the dead of winter a lack of entertainment may be the last thing homeowners should be concerned about.
This research points out that many homeowners don’t realize the dangers and inconveniences they would face during a power outage. To help homeowners be better prepared for the realities of winter-related power outages, Generac Power Systems compiled a few reminders of unexpected things they’ll be without:
1. Running water. When the heat is out pipes are more susceptible to freezing. Even if you have an oil-based source of household heating, a power outage will still disrupt service and indoor temperatures will dip. A frozen or burst pipe can halt your access to running water (and could lead to some very expensive home repairs). Opening the faucet will provide relief from the excessive pressure that comes with ice blockage and can prevent a burst pipe.
2. Fast emergency responders and utility companies. Snow, sleet, freezing rain and ice all make for treacherous travel conditions, meaning response from emergency and utility crews will be delayed during winter storms. When power outages are involved, families can quickly find themselves in dangerous situations with delayed response from these important services. With proper at-home preparation and safety, you can protect your family from needing to call these crews for help in emergency situations.
3. Wireless Internet. Most homeowners forget that when the power goes out, so does their wireless internet access. With routers down, that means no connection to communicate with loved ones or get important updates about the storm. Cellular service can also be interrupted during outage times, and with no way to charge cell phone batteries, that option is also often limited.
4. Daylight. This one might seem like a no-brainer, but many people forget that daylight hours are short during the winter. Especially when a storm is passing through, homes can get dark and stay dark for the majority of the day. Candles and flashlights work well for short periods of time, but it’s important to re-think backup light options during the winter when darkness is prolonged.
These critical household functions are all things that homeowners would desperately miss in the event of a winter power outage, whether they are aware of it or not. The best way to ensure you and your family won’t be without is to create an organized winter preparedness plan that includes a stockpile of food, water and other supplies as well as a source of backup power. Whether from a home standby option that automatically turns on when utility power is interrupted, or a portable unit for powering essential items, generators can make all the difference in the safety of your home and family this winter.