Surviving Winter Power Outages

With hurricane Sandy slamming the east coast this past week and spreading its effects as far as the Great Lakes region with high winds and snow, millions were left without power. Power outages can be extremely annoying any time of year, but are seldom more than an inconvenience most of the year unless the temperature happens to be exceptionally high. However, power outages in the winter are a different story all together and are always dangerous unless certain precautionary steps are taken to assure your family’s safety.

When you begin your preparation checklist, your first call should be to a certified Markham plumber. Frozen pipes are the most common consequence from the power going out when the temperature is at or below freezing, but thankfully it is also one of the most preventable. Markham plumbers know how cold the weather can get in your area and exactly how to best avoid catastrophically frozen or even burst pipes which can lead to thousands of dollars in damage. Proper insulation is going to be the first step in prolonging the amount of time it takes for the water in your pipes to freeze.

The ultimate solution however is not something that your Markham plumber can take care of, though they can probably provide a recommendation of a trusted professional who can. Generators produce power to your home until grid power is restored.

When choosing a generator, the first decision you’ll have to make is portable versus automatic. Portable generators are less expensive than their automatic counterparts, but also provide less power meaning you may only be able to run the most elements of your home such as the freezer, furnace, water pump etc. They also require someone to go out in the storm and manually attach the generator to the home and get it running. Alternatively, the higher cost of an automatic generator allows for a permanent installation which in many cases will provide power for the whole home as well as automatic engagement when the power is cut from the outside.

Whether you can afford the luxury of an automatic generator or not, you really can’t afford to not have your pipes professionally insulated by a Markham plumber.  In addition to that, every family should have an emergency kit to assure they are ready for the worst case scenario. These kits can be purchased at various websites across the internet or easily assembled at home. These kits should contain all of the basics including:

These few items can be assembled from scratch for less than $50, but you already probably have most of them in your home. Just place them in a container and put the container in a place where you won’t be tempted to raid it next time your television remote dies.