Prepare for a Winter Blackout – Now

No matter when they occur, power outages are unpleasant. It's dark in your home… appliances don't work… food spoils… temperatures quickly turn too cold or hot.

For many folks, winter blackouts are the worst. Especially when they strike during a cold snap. Just ask those folks in Texas and other southern states who had to deal with Winter Storm Uri early last year. 

And as we've seen recently, blackouts can occur for a number of different reasons. Extreme weather is still the main culprit, of course, as we were painfully reminded last week by Winter Storm Diaz that slammed into western states before taking aim at other parts of the country. 

But now there's a disturbing trend of electrical substations being vandalized to add to the mix. This has occurred in North Carolina, Florida, several northwestern states and elsewhere.

We can't stop outages from occurring. But there are some things we can do right now – with at least three more months of winter weather ahead – to make any blackout more manageable.

We're dependent on electricity

Most of us forget how much we depend on electricity. Until the power goes off, that is. Then it all comes screaming back at us.

Whether it's lighting, heat or cooking. Working, communicating or being entertained. Just about everything is dependent on a supply of electricity.

I've frequently heard people say an extended power outage would plunge us back into the 1800s. Actually, it would be worse than that. Folks back then knew how to live without electricity. We don't.

Hopefully any power outage you experience this winter will be short-lived. But there's no guarantee. And even if the blackout only lasts a few hours or a half-day, you need to be prepared for it.

 9 ways to prepare for an outage

So, let's take a look at some of the ways to prepare – in advance – for a winter power outage.

  • Weatherize your home with weather-stripping around doors and windows to eliminate drafts. Make sure walls and the attic are insulated. Keep your garage door closed, but make sure you can open it manually.
  • Have plenty of reliable batteries on hand. Stock up on the ones that power the devices you are most likely to need in a blackout. Such as flashlights, radios, smoke detectors, etc. If those batteries are rechargeable, all the better.
  • Make sure your standard radios, emergency radios, flashlights, battery-powered lanterns and other items are in good working order.
  • Keep your gas tank filled. Many people who have been stranded on highways during winter storms wish they had done this. Even if you can get to a gas station, pumps might not work in a power outage.
  • Speaking of your car, keep water and non-perishable food in an easily accessible place. Plus blankets, hats, gloves and boots. As well as a cellphone charger, first-aid kit and foldable snow shovel.
  • Consider how you will provide heat to your home during a blackout. Even if it's only in a couple of rooms.
  • Stockpile plenty of clean drinking water and survival food in a cool, dark place in your home where pests can't get at it. If you have canned food, make sure you have a manual can opener handy.
  • Without a lot of heat in your home, water pipes are in danger of freezing. Make sure they are insulated. Allow a small drip from each faucet to continue during the blackout. Moving water is far less likely to freeze. Open cabinet doors under sinks in your kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Last but certainly not least, purchase a portable, solar-powered generator. It will make any blackout situation much easier to deal with.

The deal of the season

You've heard us talk about our mini solar generator called the Patriot Power Sidekick. Perhaps you've thought about what a nifty item it would make for your preparedness stockpile.

Well, how would you like to get one for free? You heard me right. For a very limited time, we are offering a free Patriot Power Sidekick with the purchase of our Patriot Power Generator 1800. And that's not all. You also get two free solar panels with your purchase, plus free shipping and handling.

When you have both of our popular solar-power generators, you can use the 1800 for the larger tasks while the Sidekick focuses on the smaller jobs.

Having both generators will help you take care of whatever power issues you might have during what promises to be a nasty winter with inevitable blackouts.

Here's how to get yours.

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