Will you be ready for the next winter power outage?
By Todd Fryer
Century 21 Aberwin Realty Inc.
With the power outages many people across Ontario have experienced this winter, it’s a good idea to be prepared for a winter emergency in case the weather turns. Going without electricity for a few hours is manageable but when that timeframe stretches into days or a week, even the most prepared family will experience hardships.
The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management offers these tips to make sure Ontarians are ready for winter emergencies. A few simple steps will help families prepare their homes and cars for emergencies or winter power outages:
• Organize an emergency survival kit. Every Ontario family should have a kit in their home that includes, food, water, a flashlight and medication needed to be safe for at least three days after a disaster.
• Inspect your existing kit to replace any out-of-date food or beverages.
• Install or inspect smoke and carbon monoxide alarms - they can be electrically powered, battery powered, or a combination of both.
• Have a winter driving survival kit in your car that includes a shovel, blanket, extra clothing and footwear.
• In a power outage, use flashlights or battery-operated lanterns instead of candles or hurricane lamps. If you must use a candle, place it in a secure holder, cover it with a glass chimney, and keep it away from children and pets.
• Ensure that you use portable generators, space heaters and barbecues safely.
• If you must be outside during cold weather or a snowstorm, avoid overexertion, wear several layers of clothing, wear waterproof and insulated boots and regularly check for frostbite.
• If you lose heating in your home, keep water running, even at a trickle, to help prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.