As bad as the pandemic has been, the next few days are only going to provide a greater challenge for food banks, homeless shelters, schools and vaccination providers. It will also bring the problems home to North Texas residents if they suffer from power outages thanks to downed trees. The predicted temperatures are making wine cellars look like convection ovens. If there are power outages, you’ll catch yourself doing the silliest and most frustrating things like trying to do a load of laundry or nuking a cup of coffee in a dead microwave.
Just to play it safe, prepare now. Consider some backup suggestions just in case you lose power.
- Power up your cellphones and tablets.
- Close down your computers when you’re not using them at night. If a glitch takes place, you won’t want the infamous blue screen to greet you.
- Even the most high-tech TVs are going to be black without Reddy Kilowatt.
- If you opt for a stay in an area hotel while your homestead is dark, consider how you would get there if your garage door won’t open. Why not park your car outside and cover the windows to prevent ice and snow build-up?
- And speaking of your car, if you have one of those high-techy vehicles and your internet is dying, consider the car to be a major battery for powering up.
- How’s your stockpile of flashlights, lanterns and most importantly batteries of all sizes?
- Candles are nice for setting a mood, but they can be deadly during these times. Put them literally on the back burner.
- If you’ve depended on that warm feeling thanks to an electric blanket or mattress, you’re gonna get a chilly feel without power. That’s why the traditional duvet and layers of blankets will let you hibernate.
- And speaking of layers, do just that with your clothing. Each layer adds another layer of contained warmth.
- Let the pets sleep with you. Heard of a three-dog night? Besides being the name of a band, it got its start when old timers would have their dogs in bed with them to keep them warm.
- For the outdoorsy types, pull out those sleeping bags.
- What to do with the kids? They’ve been through so much. If you have playing cards, jigsaw puzzles, hardbound books or board games, you can score major bonding with the little ones.
- Check on your elderly family and friends. They may be too proud to ask for help, so don’t give up.
After temps rise above the freezing point, consider the following add-ons for your household:
- A generator to provide power when your electrical source is down.
- For gourmets or weekend cooks, consider getting an alcohol stove that campers rely on.
- Stock up on easy-to-heat foods that you can warm up on your fireplace.
- Revisit your windows and doors. They may need to be upgraded to insulated status.
- Remember that as miserable as you may be, the area nonprofits sheltering the homeless need your support.