Power Outage Survival Guide: Stay Warm & Fed

The record-breaking cold weather and storms of the past few weeks caused many power outages. In this context, prevention is essential and some items, such as your grill and your fireplace, can be of great help. These few tips will make the next service interruption easier during winter and even during summer.

Have a home emergency kit ready

Planning is key. Some items will come in handy for different situations during a power outage.Before the next one; make sure you have the following items in your house:

  • Candles, matches, and/or flashlights,
  • A first aid kit,
  • Safe drinking water (two liters per person per day),
  • A phone not connected to the power grid for emergency calls,
  • Extra batteries to keep essential devices working,
  • Non-perishable food.

These items should be easily accessible. For further precautions, you could even have a gas-powered generator and sufficient fuel supplies ready to ensure minimum electricity provision for lighting and your refrigerator.

Stay warm with your fireplace

Without electricity, your gas or wood-burning fireplace may not heat your entire house, but will at least keep one or more rooms warm. Gas appliances’ millivolt ignition system or batteries will keep it functioning during power outages. Make sure to have spare batteries in case the ones already in use are dead. As for wood-burning fireplaces, always keep sufficient supplies of firewood and fire starter.

In this context, prevention must be implemented all year long. Install a carbon monoxide detector and schedule an annual inspection of your appliance to detect and address any problem.

Your grill:a reliable ally to cook meals

Did you know that you can use your grill during winter? We will outline how in a new blog post this month.Your barbecue will take more time to cook meals than during summer especially if it is a gas appliance, but you will be able to prepare almost anything you want. Despite the cold weather, you should never grill food with a barbecue inside your house or garage. Indoor use is unsafe.

Some Extra Tips

Additional measures should be taken during a power outage lasting over a relatively long period of time.

  • Stay up-to-date using a battery-powered radio or a cell phone. Some utilities have created a mobile application providing information such as the power outage’s expected time span and the number of affected customers.
  • Turn off all appliances that were on before the power outage to avoid electrical overload when power is restored. Keep only one lamp lit to remain alert when power returns.
  • Keep the refrigerator and freezer’s doors shut as much as possible. This will prevent a temperature drop and it will keep your food for a longer time.
  • After six hours, throw away milk, cream, open yogurt containers, eggs, soups, and prepared vegetables, whether raw or cooked.
  • Open and close the faucets a few times to prevent pipes from freezing.

Below is a list of fireplace and grill stores that service Virginia (VA)

Manassas, VA

Winston's Chimney Service
11301 Industrial Road
Manassas, VA 20109

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Mechanicsville, VA

Hearth & Home Shoppe
8151 Mechanicsville Tpk
Mechanicsville, VA 23111

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Roanoke, VA

Dixie Building Products Inc.
3342 Melrose Ave NW
Roanoke, VA 24017

Warrenton, VA

Costello's Warrenton Fireplace & Hot Tub
251 West Lee Hwy
Warrenton, VA 20186

For more information, contact your local fireplace and grill store..

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