Kansas can whip up some powerful winter storms in January and February. These storms, strong enough to knock out power lines, can conspire with subzero temperatures to create dangerous conditions for Wichita area families if you’re not prepared.
Preparing for winter storms
Taking a little time and effort to equip your home for a winter power outage will help keep your family safe and comfortable through the winter as well as give you peace of mind. Just what should you do to prepare for winter storms?
- Prepare and maintain an emergency kit. Assemble a kit of necessities to use in the event of a power outage. Include three days’ worth of food and water (and don’t forget the pet food), cash, candles and matches, a battery-powered (or hand-cranked) weather radio, extra batteries, family contact information, blankets and warm clothes, a flashlight, and a three-day supply of any prescription medications. Make sure to switch the food, water, batteries and prescriptions periodically so they are fresh when you need them.
- Make an emergency plan. Before winter storms hit, get together with all members of your family and make sure everyone knows what to do – and what not to do – in the event of an emergency. FEMA offers a good list of things to consider when devising your plan.
- Consider a standby generator. A standby generator can keep your heat on as well as your refrigerator and lights in the event of a power outage. Such systems turn on automatically, so you’re protected even if you’re not home when the lights go out. You can consider a smaller system that powers a few essential circuits, or a whole-house generator that does just what the name suggests.
- Seal the gaps in your home. If you haven’t done so already, inspect your home for any gaps around doors, windows, plumbing vents and light sockets. Seal them with weatherstripping, caulk or spray foam, depending on the situation. This will help your home retain valuable warm air during a power outage.
If you need more advice about getting your Wichita area home ready for the harsh winter months, please contact us at Comfort Systems in Wichita. We’ve been helping central Kansas homeowners with their heating and cooling needs since 1966.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about winter storms and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.