Risks of Power Outages in Winter

Power outages in the winter are both inconvenient and dangerous. Lack of heat, lighting, internet connectivity, and appliances are among the most evident dangers. Your home may endure frozen pipes, communication problems, and even hypothermia during extended outages.

Aside from these threats, there are a number of lesser-known risks that might put your family in danger. Here are five points to think about.

  1. Medical Conditions – Is there anyone in your family who has a medical condition that necessitates the use of electricity? During power outages, medical equipment, health monitoring applications, and even basic necessities like warm baths and compresses are unavailable.  This is a serious circumstance for an elderly or injured person. The usual interruption lasts 2 to 5 hours, although winter storms can cause disruptions to last considerably longer. By obtaining a generator from a trustworthy generator service, you can ensure that medical equipment will have uninterrupted electricity.
  2.  Food Poisoning – It’s easy to overlook the consequences of a power outage on your food supply. After all, your refrigerator normally runs smoothly without much attention, and a grocery store is probably only a few miles away. All of this changes during winter storms, when power and roads may be out. Food illness can swiftly develop due to a lack of refrigeration.Food pathogens like salmonella and E.coli can start to take hold within two hours after food hits “danger zone” temperatures of 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the US Department of Agriculture. That’s why it’s critical to have a food backup plan in the event of a power loss, such as using a generator or cooking with a propane, butane, kerosene, or sterno stove. Before eating, most canned vegetables and soups need be heated, and even dry items like rice and pasta should be boiled in hot water.
  3.  Water Contamination – When it comes to water, did you know that power interruptions put your water supply at risk?

The operation of water treatment plants necessitates the use of electricity. They normally have large industrial generators, but these can fail during protracted outages because everyone in town relies on them. Having gallons and bottles of water on hand is a good idea.

Your bottled water will, of course, freeze during protracted outages. Some experts recommend pouring your emergency water into clean coolers, which will help it stay warmer for longer.

If you have access to a generator or a fuel stove, you can boil water for one minute to confirm its safety. If you suspect contamination in your water, a water filtration kit can help. Remember to drink less water overall and bathe only on rare occasions, as damp skin makes you feel colder.

4.  Increased Injury Risk
It may seem ridiculous, but it’s a real issue: people are more likely to be injured during power outages and interruptions. It is not necessary to be clumsy to sustain an injury.

People are forced to lift and move items they would not typically handle, such as equipment and debris, in these situations. Strains, sprains, breaks, inflammation, and pain become more common all of a sudden. Rooms are significantly darker without electricity, which increases the risk of trips and falls.

When the power goes off, it varies rather than going out completely. This adds to the dangers. Power surges can result in electrocution and fires.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns about the dangers of power outages, including the following serious risks of injury:

  • Contact with electricity lines that have been downed
  • Home electrocution
  • Gasoline toxicity as a result of siphoning
  • Accidents at work
  • Cold and exposure-related health problems

5. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Is there a carbon monoxide detector in your home, and if so, will it work during a power outage?

The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is greatest in the winter, when windows are closed and people are confined to small quarters. Vehicles, stoves, and heaters that burn fuel can produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

Invest in a high-quality carbon monoxide detector with a battery backup. If you utilize a generator, inquire with the manufacturer about correct placement and operation to alleviate any carbon monoxide risks.