Tips for Surviving an Ontario Hydro Power Outage During the Winter

Posted by admin on November 16, 2015

If an Ontario Hydro power outage strikes in the dead of winter, will you be prepared? Getting caught in a power outage can lead to serious repercussions for you and your family, be it for a few hours or a few days. Consider that most outages occur in cases of inclement weather, greatly limiting your ability to travel for after-the-fact considerations, emergency supplies, or other solutions, and it becomes easy to understand why planning for an Ontario Hydro power outage is your only safe bet.

Assemble an emergency kit

You should keep a kit in your home prepared for any emergency, not just power outages. When a bad situation arises, having the necessary tools, supplies, and equipment in a single place saves you time and stress. Your kit should contain a variety of items, including but not limited to:

  • Several gallons of water per person
  • Several days’ worth of non-perishable food items 
  • Flashlights
  • A radio
  • A first aid kit
  • Wrenches, screwdrivers, and other versatile tools
  • Other items such as pet supplies, personal hygiene items, etc.

If you need certain medications or any other special item you may not be able to acquire during a power outage or other emergency, store some in your kit and check regularly that it’s not close to expiry.

Home Prep

To make it through an Ontario hydro power outage in comfort, you need to prep your home well in advance. Fierce winter weather without adequate heating can be a death sentence, so don’t get caught with your home unready.

  • Insulation. A home that has been properly weatherproofed, with every crack sealed and every wall insulated, will maintain heat long after the power goes out. Make sure windows and doors stay closed, seal off unnecessary rooms, make sure your chimney is closed, etc.
  • Land line. A cell phone is a wonderful thing, until you find yourself without electricity to recharge it. Cordless phones are equally useless in an Ontario Hydro power outage, but a landline attached to a corded phone will often continue to work—land lines have their own built-in power supply. 
  • Fuel. If you have a fireplace, keep chopped wood around. If you have portable gas heaters, keep several topped off tanks of propane or natural gas at the ready. If you’re running a gas-powered backup generator, keep plenty of fuel for that as well. 
  • Portable Power. It can be a hefty investment compared to other items on this list, but nothing beats keeping a portable power generator charged and ready. You won’t be keeping your entire home running off most models, but you might be able to keep your fridge, lights, and a few other necessities running through and extended outage. Beware of theft, if your unit’s hooked up outside.

Other Things to Remember

Don’t forget the little things during a power outage—a blackout has many ways of making life miserable.

  • If you have to drive, be careful at intersections. Lights rarely stay on and most intersections become four way stops. 
  • For area-wide blackouts, cash in hand can be very useful as ATM’s won’t work.
  • Boredom can set in quickly. Try to keep a few non-digital forms of entertainment around, so that you and your family don’t get bored or on each other’s nerves. 

Want more ideas on surviving power outages, preparing your home for winter conditions, or keeping warm during inclement weather? Contact us today and ask about our many HVAC solutions.

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