Tags: heat | out | shuts down | what to do

6 Things to Do When Your Heat Goes Out

By    |   Friday, 10 November 2017 10:10 AM

As the United States heads into winter, the chance of more severe weather conditions increases. These conditions can often cause power outages, which could see you and your family stuck without heat.

Just a few months ago, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, more than 10,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity generating capacity was lost when Hurricane Harvey affected power lines.

Here’s a quick look at how you can keep your family safe and comfortable when the heat goes out:

1. Prepare in advance— There are a number of ways you can make sure your home is properly insulated so you don’t lose heat. 

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Survival Life suggests checking your windows and doors for cracks or openings where heat may escape. If you’re planning to use your fireplace to keep warm, also be sure to have your chimney inspected to make sure it’s safe to use.

HouseLogic.com adds that you may also want to put together an Emergency Preparedness Kit.

Your kit should contain enough emergency supplies — like water, canned food, batteries, flashlights, and warm clothes — to last about three years. The Department of Homeland Security offers a handy checklist on its website, which you can use to make sure you have everything you may need.

2. Keep your home safe— If you’ve still got power or a generator, you may choose to use a heater, but while there are many heaters on the market, each comes with its own set of safety precautions. Make sure you know how to use yours safely.

As Peninsula Oil points out on its bog, using a generator indoors comes with a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, and using grills for heat is a fire hazard that’ll also put you at risk of breathing in toxic fumes.

If your power has gone out, HouseLogic.com suggests turning off all your major appliances, as the surge when the power comes back on could damage electronics or cause an electrical fire.

3. Get layered up — Your highest priority when the heat goes out is probably keeping warm. One easy way to do this, according to the Urban Survival Site, is to put on a couple or layers of clothes. If you own thermal underwear, that’s even better. And make sure to keep your ears covered.

The idea is to stop your body heat from escaping. On her blog, Melissa K. Norris writes that thick, wool blankets can serve the same purpose.

Another trick for staying warm is exercise. A couple of jumping jacks will get your blood moving to your extremities, which are usually the first to get cold.

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4. Keep calm and drink tea or coffee—There’s nothing like a warm beverage to warm you up from the inside but, according to Tastemade, coffee is scientifically proven to warm you up thanks to its caffeine content that stimulates your metabolism and gets your blood moving.

Other foods that do this are fresh ginger, cayenne peppers, peanuts, brown rice, and coconut oil.

5. Cook a feast — If you have power, use your stove. If not, use a gas cooker or a fireplace.

Either way, Survival Life says the excess heat generated while cooking will help heat your home up.

Go Ask Alice! adds that because of the process of metabolism and the fact that your body needs fuel to carry out tasks like warming you up, a good meal will also help you stay warm.

If you’re going to be using a wood stove when the heat goes out, you’ll want to make sure you have enough dry wood beforehand.

6. Go camping inside— According to the Urban Survival Site, erecting a tent indoors is a great way to trap body heat in a small space. You can even throw a blanket over the top to help trap even more warmth.

Making sure your family all stays together in one room is also great for retaining body heat.

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As the United States heads into winter, the chance of more severe weather conditions increases. These conditions can often cause power outages, which could see you and your family stuck without heat.
heat, out, shuts down, what to do
Friday, 10 November 2017 10:10 AM
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