No one likes to have their power supply interrupted, but sometimes due to flooding, heavy snow or thunderstorms this is out of our control, and we have to make the best of it until the power is restored. In the winter when we rely on our heating to keep warm, this can be more than a simple inconvenience – it can be dangerous. Here’s our advice on how to stay warm during a power cut so you can stay safe.
Alternative fuel sources
Plan ahead and invest in alternative fuel sources. Your home heating oil might not be available if there is damage to your pipes due to extreme weather, or if there is a power cut and your boiler will no longer work you might have a plentiful supply of home heating oil but no way to burn it. If you have an open fire, make sure you have fuel to burn in it or alternatively a space heater can be used as a temporary measure in an emergency. Always make sure you adhere to fire safety rules and never leave an open fire without a fire guard in front of it.
If there’s a power cut and you’re feeling cold, keep moving around. Exercise will soon keep you warm but if this isn’t an option, try to move around the house at least – dusting, tidying, folding laundry – anything but sitting still in the same position for hours. Cold weather can increase blood pressure and also over time lower your resistance to infections, so it’s important to maintain your core body temperature, not just to help you feel warmer but for health reasons too.
Staying warm on the inside can be achieved by having a big steaming bowl of something scrumptious! Keep warm during a power cut by cooking over a gas stove – you can pull together chilli, stews or soups – remember that your body needs fuel, and even more so when it’s cold out.
Make sure that you have all the emergency numbers you need – the electric board, a plumber should the worst happen, and list the websites that have up to date information about when the power will be restored. Keep these in your phone, with a backup of emergency phone numbers printed out or written and stuck to the inside of a cupboard door in case of emergency.
Be a good neighbour
If you live in an area where you know your neighbours and know that there may be older or vulnerable people living there, make sure to check on them in the bad weather and see if they are ok. Winter deaths among the older population are on the rise in Ireland, so staying warm during a power cut for this demographic is absolutely crucial.