There’s no predicting when a power outage will happen, or how long it might last. High winds may knock out power for days. Snow and ice may leave your dad without power for weeks. Make sure your dad stays safe during a long power outage by following these tips.
In the winter, a lengthy power outage can be detrimental. If it’s cold outside, your dad’s house may drop below safe temperatures. It’s unlikely he has running water if he’s on a well. If he’s on city water, he won’t have hot water. A cold shower increases his risk of hypothermia.
Your dad’s home may have a wood stove. As long as he has smoke detectors that run on battery power and his chimney is clean, it’s a great source of heat. If he has a kerosene space heater, that is another good way to stay warm. With a kerosene space heater, he must leave a window open for ventilation.
If there is no heat source and your dad won’t move to a shelter, keep extra blankets handy for staying warm. Layered clothing will also help your dad stay warm enough as the house gets cold.
Have Water Stored.
Going back to the issue of a well. A power outage cuts off the water supply. Your dad should have jugs of water stored up for emergencies. If he doesn’t, most fire stations can fill containers. He will need to boil any water he uses for drinking.
Stock Up on Non-Perishable Foods.
Make sure your dad has an assortment of non-perishable food stored for unexpected outages. Canned items are good, just make sure they’re things he’ll be happy eating without being able to heat them up. If he has a working grill, he’ll be able to pull items from his freezer to eat, too. Freezer items are only safe for up to 48 hours, however. After that, he’ll have to ditch all of his frozen foods.
An outdoor grill can be used to boil water for hot beverages and instant soup mixes. If he has a gas stove, he can heat water inside.
Turn Off and Drain Pipes if Temperatures Are Below Freezing.
If there’s a chance your dad’s house will reach 32 F or lower, pipes could burst. To prevent this, your dad needs to turn off water to his house and drain all pipes.
Your dad’s safety is a priority. If he’s aging at home, look into the services home care professionals offer. Even if your dad is capable of living alone, he may start to feel lonely. Loneliness can impact his mental and physical health. Talk to a home care agency to learn more about companionship services.