It’s that time of year again. Temperatures have dropped, snow is falling, ice is forming, and whether you’re prepared or not, there’s a good chance that your power might go out as a result of the freezing. As we saw with the mass power outages in Texas last year, even in areas where you typically don’t think you have to worry about it, it is totally possible that you could lose power for an extended period of time as a result of freezing temperatures. So with that knowledge, the question remains - will you be prepared when the power goes out?
There are some basic precautions you should take if you’re in an area that is susceptible to winter storm power outages. It’s always better to be prepared than not, so, in case of the worst, - let’s look at the top 10 ways to prepare for winter power outages, so you won't’ be left stranded in the cold.
1. Weatherize your home - The easiest way to make sure that you are prepared for an intense winter storm is to make sure your home is prepared first. “Weatherizing” your home is the best way to do that - preparing it to best hold heat when heat is not available. Weatherizing includes a number of additions and upgrades, including but not limited to:
- Adding weatherstripping around doors and windows.
- Adding insulation in the attic or walls
- Adding energy efficient doors and windows.
These types of home upgrades can make a huge difference when it’s brutally cold and you don’t have any source of heat, which, in a winter storm, could be hours and even days.
2. Stock up on food - The most obvious thing you’ll need during an intense winter storm is food - non-perishable food that you can eat whether you have power or not. This includes your standard disaster preparedness goods: canned foods, dried foods, cereals, nuts, dried fruits, etc. If you happen to have a grill that you can use, that will open up your options for cooking, but either way you should plan to have enough food such that you don’t have to cook for at least a week or so.
3. Stock up on batteries - If you don’t have power, you’re going to need a light source at night. That’s why it’s always good to have a ton of batteries and flashlights on hand to light the way when the blackout is at bay. Batteries are also useful for electronics like radios that can be useful in emergency situations when phone service is down.
4. Gather your cold weather clothes - Before the power goes out and the heat goes down, you’ll want to have all your cold weather clothes and gear already in one place - that way you won’t have to scramble, looking for all your cold weather gear and clothes after you’re already cold. This should include jackets, beanies, socks, boots, etc., everything you need in case things get seriously cold and you have no heat.
5. Condense your living area - A good way to contain the heat you have available is to stay in one area of the house for most of the day. That could mean that everyone in a household stays in one room, or when they are not sleeping congregate in one area. That way, the body heat is contained in one space, which may not make a huge difference, but will help, even in a small degree.
6. Stock up on Firewood - If you have a fireplace, a fire pit, or even a wood stove, you should definitely have a large stockpile of firewood on hand that is stored in a dry place. When things get seriously cold, you will be glad to be able to light up a few logs, especially at night when it can get especially brutal.
7. Get a portable generator - Depending on where you live and how frequent blackouts are due to extreme weather, it may be good to invest in a generator so that you don’t have to worry as much about power going out. Yes, they are loud and they can require a lot of gas to keep running, but if you experience blackouts enough, it’s probably worth having one.
8. Stock up on Drinking Water - Depending on where you live, your tap water may or may not be drinkable during a power outage. For this reason, you should probably stock up on bottled water or have drinkable water stored in a warm enough place such that it won’t freeze. The average person drinks around a gallon of water a day, so you should take that into account when planning your backup water supplies.
9. Have a solid First Aid Kit Prepared - When the power is out, the roads are icy and communication with the outside world is limited, you’re going to want to be completely self-reliant, which includes First Aid. Band Aids, Gauze, Antibacterial Cream, are all things you absolutely must have in the case of an outage or emergency.
10. Have a Portable Shower on Hand - When the power is out, you may have running water, but more than likely, your water heater will not be working. You’re not going to want to take a cold shower, especially if your heat isn’t working, so the best solution is to have a heated portable shower ready to go.
At RinseKit, we make portable showers with heating options that are perfect for winter power outages. With capacities ranging from 1.5 - 3.5 gallons, we have a variety of models that are suitable for a wide variety of applications - and all of them have heating accessories and options.
These are not your typical low pressure camping showers that are simply a bag full of water, these are real showers that spray with up to 60 PSI of pressure, so they’re just as strong as your normal shower.
As far as heating options go, we currently have a Hot Rod Water Heater that is compatible with our 1.5 gallon RinseKit Pod and the 2 gallon RinseKit Plus. How it works is that you plug the Hot Rod Water Heater into your car’s 12 volt socket, and put it into your RinseKit with water in it. As the hot rod charges and warms up, it warms the water around it in the RinseKit, resulting in a full tank of warm water within 30 minutes.
We are also releasing new heating accessories for our RinseKit PRO model. The 3.5 gallon PRO model will have a unique immersion heater that will work similar to the Hot Rod Water Heater, heating the water in the tank within 30 - 60 minutes.
Even more exciting, and even better as a backup shower, is our newest release of our HyperHeater Propane water heater. Combined, these two items create the ultimate portable instant hot shower, with 3.5 gallons of water heating up to 110 degrees within 3-4 minutes. With a standard shower nozzle and powerful pressure, this setup can create a hot, high pressure shower setup that can be set up anywhere. So if you’re looking for the ultimate backup hot shower setup, the RinseKit PRO + HyperHeater is it.
So there you have it - a short guide on how to be prepared in the case of a winter storm power outage. While food and water are your obvious priorities, there are other preparations you can take to make sure you’re comfortable no matter what happens - including having a hot shower. To learn more about our portable showers perfect for winter storm power outages, check out our latest products and deals.