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How to Make an Emergency Power Outage Kit for Winter

Now that autumn is over, the reality of the "winter wonderland" outside your home is likely setting in. Snow, sleet, and high winds never seem as miraculous after the Christmas tree comes down, and January and February weather loom on the horizon. Sure, you may have a new sweater and a stockpile of cocoa from your stocking, but only one of those things will come in handy if you experience one of the inevitable power outages that happen during the wintertime.

Power outages are rarely fun, especially when the same conditions that cause the power outage slow down the ability for KCP&L to get everything fixed. Roads are slick, high winds make driving dangerous, meaning you and your family are better off staying at home. This suggestion is obviously a lot more difficult if you don't have a winter power outage preparedness kit, so we've compiled a list of commonly-needed (and simply wanted) items during a power outage. Next time it's nice out, gather them together, so that when the dark clouds gather and snow begins to fall you'll know you can outlast the winter storm, come what may.

  1. Cooler. This one may seem counter-intuitive, given how cold it is outside, but when the power goes out, your fridge goes out. An extra cooler will help preserve perishable foods, delaying your need to break into your canned food supplies. A bag of ice in your freezer is never a bad idea, either.
  2. Shelf-Stable Foods. Non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items are always good for your kit—and we're not just talking about an old can of beans. There are lots of options out there that require just hot water to prepare (if you have gas power or a generator). Cup o'Noodles is always nice in cold weather, but you could also check out the new REI in Overland Park for the kinds of camp meals hikers take along. Lasagna in a pouch might seem weird, but it'll be really appreciated during a power outage, we assure you!
  3. Water. A gallon a person, per day, so bring in as much as you can fit. If your pipes burst due to your house being too cold, it may take a few days to schedule an appointment with your licensed Olathe plumber.
  4. Battery-powered or hand crank radio. A NOAA weather radio is great, too.
  5. First aid kit. If it's too dangerous to go out for food or water, it's too dangerous to go out for aspirin and Band-Aids!
  6. Prescription meds. If you can get an extra month's supply, go for it—if not, try to refill your medicines before the next winter storm sets in.
  7. Diapers and sanitary items. Don't get caught unprepared! If it can happen, it will happen.
  8. Extra Cash. Always good—local stores will also be out of power, so if you do venture out, you may need to pay with cash.
  9. Flashlight. Put one in every room, and make sure everyone knows where it is.
  10. Family Plan. Make a family plan for an emergency, and make sure everyone, even the youngest kids, have a role. Even if it's just "wait until Mom and Dad come find you," knowing what to do will make everyone feel safer.
  11. Gas up your car. You never know!
  12. Non-cordless phone. It may seem old-fashioned, but a phone with a cord may work even when the power is out!
  13. Analog entertainment. Board games, books (actual books, for when your e-reader battery dies), musical instruments, and puppets can all help to pass the time for your little ones when the power goes.

A power outage is never fun—but it doesn't have to be a terrible experience. With a little foresight, a few days at home with your family may actually be a fun bonding experience!

Founded in 1980, Davenport Service Company has provided "Customer First" service in Johnson County, Kansas for over three decades. We provide 24/7 emergency service, preventive maintenance service, and seasonal tune-ups for commercial and residential heating and air conditioning systems. If you're looking for a furnace tune-up in Olathe, call 913-441-2222 for hassle-free scheduling today!

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