The holidays are finally over. You’ve taken down the Christmas tree, all of the leftovers are gone, and there isn’t any more shopping to be done. Now is supposed to be a time of renewed energy and hope…but Mother Nature didn’t get the memo.
The new year is off to a rough start for residents in the Hudson Valley with enough rain, damaging winds, and flooding to last us well into the season. The stormy weather also has another unfortunate downside – power outages.
With more bad weather on the horizon, losing power over an extended period could spell disaster. At Northeastern Masonry & Chimney, the safety of our clients is our biggest priority. We’re here with a few tips to help keep you warm during these long, chilly days even if the power goes out.
How Can I Prepare for a Power Outage?
Proper preparation can make a world of difference when you lose power. You’ll rest a lot easier knowing that you have a stock of supplies on hand should you need them.
What kind of supplies should you get? We suggest these:
- A fully stocked first-aid kit
- A list of emergency contacts
- Batteries of all sizes
- Three days’ worth of bottled water
- Non-perishable food that doesn’t require cooking
- A manual can opener
- At least two flashlights
- A battery-powered lantern
- A battery-powered radio
- Extra blankets, coats, hats, and gloves
- A fresh supply of firewood
Once you have your supplies, it’s time to get everything ready. Charge your cell phone for use in case of an emergency, and put fresh batteries in your flashlight, lantern, and radio. Also, bring a stack of firewood logs inside and keep it near your fireplace, so that you don’t have to run around in the dark.
The Power Went Out. Now What?
The worst has happened: a Nor’easter has knocked out the power. Now, you’re sitting in the dark and it’s getting colder. You don’t have to panic because you’ve prepared for this. Everything you need is at your disposal and you’re fully prepared to get through it.
What should you do next?
- Make sure the power is out. Confirm that the problem is widespread and isn’t limited to your home. Take a peek out the window to see if the street lights are out and if nearby houses are also dark. If everything else seems okay, you may have just tripped a circuit breaker.
- Unplug your appliances. Go around the house with a flashlight and unplug televisions, computers, tablets, and other large appliances. When the electricity comes back on, it can cause power surges that might damage equipment.
- Report the outage to the proper company. Reach out to your utility provider to report the outage. They will likely already be aware of the problem, but they can provide an estimate of how long it’ll take for your power to be restored. Central Hudson Gas and Electric and New York State Electric & Gas Corporation (NYSEG) are the most popular utility companies in our area.
- Turn on your battery-powered radio. This is the best way to stay updated on restoration times, local news, and safety tips for your area.
- Layer up, if necessary. If you’re getting cold, grab a coat or another set of gloves and bundle up. If you have elderly or minor household members, keep them cozy with an extra blanket.
- Stay out of the refrigerator and freezer. How many times do you walk past your refrigerator and mindlessly open it for a quick sip of water? Do your best to resist the urge in order to preserve food. (Tip: when a storm is in the forecast, turn the temperature in your refrigerator down by a few degrees. This can buy a little extra time for perishable food items if the power goes out.)
Use Your Secret Weapon – Your Fireplace or Stove
In a power outage, your fireplace or stove is really the unsung hero. It’s not safe to navigate your home in the dark, and your fireplace or stove can serve as another source of light, so that you’re not completely reliant on lanterns and flashlights. And when the weather is really cold, this can also be an extra source of heat.
Your fireplace also makes it possible for you to turn a normally stressful situation into a fun evening. Gather everyone around the fire, and swap ghost stories or play some board games by the flickering flames. A power outage doesn’t mean you’re condemned to sulking around in the dark – especially when you have a stove or fireplace.
Make Sure Your Fireplace or Stove Is Ready When You Need It
Your fireplace or stove can keep you warm and well-lit during a power outage, but you have to do your part and keep it well-maintained. If you haven’t had your annual inspection and sweeping yet, call Northeastern Masonry & Chimney. Our team of knowledgeable and dedicated chimney professionals is here and ready to help.
Schedule an appointment by calling us at 518-767-9315 or book with us online.