Preparing for Winter Storm Power Outages – What You Need to Know

Power outage statistics are getting worse as weather extremes and an aging, overburdened utility grid more frequently leave customers in the cold and dark. The numbers tell the story: weather-related power outages are practically doubling every 5 years in this country. Aside from hurricanes, winter storms were the most frequent source of widespread grid disturbances affecting more than a million people. Today, a house deprived of electrical power can become almost uninhabitable if the residents aren’t prepared for a power outage. Here’s what you can do ahead of time.

  • Keep three days of canned food on hand as well as cooking fuel such as a butane camp stove or canned heat. Many natural gas home appliances don’t work without electricity. A severe power outage may also affect local water supply. Keep at least three day’s supply of drinking water (one gallon per resident per day) on hand.
  • Have fresh batteries stored for flashlights. Ideally, you should use LED lights as these are brighter plus draw less power so batteries last longer. Also invest in a cellphone backup battery source and keep it charged to recharge your cellphone as necessary.
  • Even if natural gas supply is uninterrupted, most modern gas furnaces won’t ignite without electrical power. Therefore, make provisions to stay warm. Keep a supply of seasoned firewood on hand if you have a fireplace. Make sure there are enough warm clothes, blankets and sleeping bags for everyone in the house.
  • If you utilize a portable gasoline-powered generator, do so with caution. Due to the danger of fatal carbon monoxide poisoning from the exhaust, a generator should never be operated inside the house or even in an attached garage. Keep the generator outside and at least 20 feet away from the house. Due to electrocution hazard, be careful when stringing extension cords out to the generator in wet or icy conditions.
  • For optimum protection against winter power outage, consider investing in a whole-house backup generator permanently wired into your circuits.

For more hints about staying safe during a power outage this winter, contact the professionals at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Plumbing.

"Ernie & Mike did a superb job on my new furnace and A/C installation. Despite having more than a day’s work to do, they came in and stayed until the job was done. They were organized, efficient, and protected the rest of the house well. Got both furnace and A/C installed the same day. Ernie was courteous, informative, and clearly knew his job better than anyone I’ve encountered before. The units look so good guests now get The Tour of our new system. Apollo is clearly not a fly-by-night company. I would recommend them to anyone in need of a new furnace and/or A/C."
- Jerry A.
"I called Apollo because of a water leak I thought I had in our upstairs shower going into the kitchen. Robbie came and assured me everything was fine & looked at all the other plumbing. He ended up changing a few pipes for our washer & clearing a drain. He was very nice & knowledgeable with all my questions. I ended up signing up for the care plan & was very happy with my service."
- Cassandra B.
"The team at Apollo exceeded my expectations. As a business owner, my attention to the details and commitment to providing excellent service is high. From the sales rep. to the installation team, everyone’s performance was outstanding. For example, the installation team went to great lengths to protect our floors, placing floor runners and across the wood floors and up the stairs. They even were spot washing walls upon their departure. I highly recommend this company."
- Randy B.
"We scheduled an estimate AND a tune-up. We knew something was wrong with our furnace, but hoped we could make it through the rest of the season. Upon telling Bill what our furnace was doing, he warned us immediately what the possible outcome was going to be; a cracked heat exchanger. He watched the flames roll backward, tested carbon monoxide levels, which were so high they meter’s last reading was 5,600 before saying “high”. He immediately shut it down, tagged it, and explained that with levels that high and children in our home he wanted off right away. He continued his inspection and showed us via a camera that not only was it cracked in multiple places, but had holes all over it. He gave us a few options for repairing it; his knowledge as well as genuine concern was beneficial and refreshing. Luckily we also scheduled an estimator, Micah, to come too and we were able to get costs between repairing and replacing (with several options). We decided to replace with a much higher efficiency furnace and one sized properly to our home. Hands down, not only did they both provide us great service and knowledge, but without sounding dramatic, they may have saved our lives. This was our first time calling Apollo, but it won’t be our last."
- Sarah B.
"Apollo is an excellent company. I always receive great service. Alex A. was professional and friendly. He kept me informed during the process of checking my furnace and heat pump to make sure they were working properly. The company makes sure you are notified who is coming and when they are on the way. All my interactions with the company have been wonderful."
- Beverly S.
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