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Winter Blackout Need to Know

Winter blackouts can be especially dangerous due to the freezing temperatures, which can cause pipes to burst and lead to costly damage to your home. Here are some tips for preparing your home for a sub zero blackout:

  1. Shut off the water going into your home: In the event of a blackout, you'll want to shut off the water going into your home to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. This can usually be done by turning off the main water valve.

  2. Drain your pipes: After shutting off the water, it's important to drain the remaining water from your pipes to prevent them from freezing. This can be done by turning on all the faucets in your home and flushing all the toilets.

  3. Insulate your home: To keep your home warm during a blackout, you can hang plastic or blankets over windows and doors to create a single area to keep warm. This will help to conserve heat and protect you from the freezing temperatures outside. Start with the windows and doors but if you have the material cover entire walls, take a foot or two into the room and hang plastic sheeting from ceiling as curtains. This creates an air gap for a ton more insulation. You can also put plastic on the ceiling and floor if you wish. The ceiling would do a lot more for you than the floor. You can get rolls of plastic sheeting or take it a step further and get reflective mylar sheeting on the preplist on Prepzone dot org. The preplist of course has everything I mention in this post.

  4. Use a propane heater: A portable propane heater, like a Mr. Buddy, can be a useful tool for keeping your home warm during a blackout. These are marketed as safe to use indoors However, it's important to use these heaters with caution and make sure you have at least some airflow for proper ventilation to prevent the build-up of carbon monoxide which should only really occur if something,even dust, lands on the burner. Also if you have a really tightly sealed space it will consume your oxygen. Even a small amount of good airflow should prevent worries there. It's also a just good idea to have a carbon monoxide detector on hand.

  5. Keep your food and water from freezing: It's important to keep your food and water supply from freezing during a blackout. You can do this by keeping it close to a heat source or by using hot water bladders or hot stones to keep it warm. Hand warmers can also be useful for keeping your food and water supply from freezing.

  6. Use a dual fuel generator: In the event of a blackout, having a generator can be a lifesaver. Consider investing in a dual fuel generator that can run on both propane and gasoline. Propane doesn't go bad with age, so it's a good fuel to have on hand. You can also consider a solar generator or battery bank as backup power sources. If you can achieve heat using chemical fuels or wood then I would conserve fuel on your generator because you don't know how long the grid will be down for. That is why battery backups at minimum but battery banks with renewable options such as solar or wind are much preferred. Don't sleep on windturnbines! During this most recent polar bomb cyclone we haven't had much sun, but we have had a TON of wind! Use it!

  7. Once you create an area to keep warm and insulated in then you could place mattesses on the floor and actually set up a tent on top (run lines at angles with rope under mattress and pull tight to simulate pining the tent in ground if needed). You can then cover that tent in blankets basically making a shelter inside of your home.

  8. If you do all of this right you may be able to keep your warm safe shelter area warm enough with just body heat and candles. There are lots of clay pot methods for making more heat from candles but just remember this basic idea; candle a few inches under clay/stone/metal something that can radiate the heat, if you had some kind of fan blowing this yould be better off as well. Stone or clay works better than metal because the stone releases heat more slowly over time.

  9. Follow fire safety guidelines: When using any heat source or electrical equipment during a blackout, it's important to follow fire safety guidelines to prevent accidents. You should have not one but MANY fire extinguishers. I can tell you from first hand experience one is not enough for anything but the smallest fire. Another great thing is fire blankets these are flame resistant materials that can put out a fire or protect you quite effectively. Make sure to keep flammable materials away from heat sources and have a fire extinguisher on hand in case of emergencies.

By following these tips, you can help protect your home and keep your family safe during a sub zero winter blackout. Remember, all of these items can be found on the Preplist at Stay warm and stay safe!

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