Snow in October? Power Outages? Now what??

This year’s first snow fall came on October 27th, when we saw a couple of inches fall overnight; just enough to force some of us to have to wake up earlier to clean off our cars. Maybe Mother Nature was punishing our groans because on October 29th, some areas in the Northeast saw 30 inches of snow, and are suffering power outages similar to those from Hurricane Irene. According to Fox News, there are nearly three million people without power. There is a long list of school closings, and the thought of Halloween trick-or-treating getting cancelled makes thousands of kids in New England cringe.

If you’re like me, you want to know how you can survive without power for an undetermined amount of time. uSwitch.com has a survival list for this power outage, and for the ones to come:

  • Prepare ahead of time by stocking extra candles, batteries and matches in an easy-to-get-to location in your home. Also be sure to have a battery powered radio handy and important numbers nearby.
  • If your power goes out, turn off all lights and appliances. Be sure to check with your neighbors to see whether or not they have power. If it is just you, check your fuse box before taking further steps.
  • In the winter months, it is important to try to keep warm. Try to move everyone into one room (one facing the South is the best); wear hats, gloves and jackets if necessary and use sleeping bags for added warmth.
  • Safety is important too. If you are using other forms of heat, be sure to read all instructions and keep the room ventilated. Grilling should only be done outdoors and candles should never be left unattended.
  • Make sure you have some water stored in case your water supply is affected. You can boil water to keep in thermoses for hot beverages, as well as in hot water bottles for warmth.
  • Food in your freezer can last for about a day if you do not open it. The fridge, on the other hand, may cause you some problems. While the weather is colder, use the outdoors as your fridge.
  • Look out for your neighbors. Anyone who is elderly or vulnerable is at more risk. Invite them into your home for added heat and for their safety.
  • In freezing temperatures, use blankets and towels to protect exposed water pipes from bursting.
  • When you finally get your power back on, check for leaks in your pipes, reset your clocks, and check the food in your freezer. Discard anything that has been thawed to prevent illness.

Make sure your home and your family is protected during these power outages. Your MA Home Insurance should protect your home from most damages caused by these types of storms. However, it is helpful to look into a MA Umbrella Insurance policy to make sure you have extra coverage in case something else unpredictable happens. Massachusetts Umbrella Insurance covers you from most things that are not listed under your regular Massachusetts Homeowner’s Insurance policy. A knowledgeable MA insurance agent from Encharter Insurance can tell you if this policy is right for you!

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