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Most of us don't fret too much over a winter storm. In most cases, it blows through and life is back to normal in a day or two. But in more severe situations, heavy snow, ice or wind can knock down electric lines, leading to a power loss in homes that depend on it for heat. You should know what to do and what not to do in this situation.

  1. Have an emergency supply of food, water, flashlights, batteries and medicine. A battery operated radio is also handy for keeping informed about weather and news.

  2. Plan a way to heat your home without power. Stock up on wood for the fireplace (make sure it is inspected and usable) or kerosene for a portable heater. If you have a generator, keep a supply of fuel.  Make sure you know how to use your backup heat source in a safe manner.

  3. If you have a well, fill containers with water for washing and flushing.

  4. Cover doorways with blankets to close off the room with the heat source and use only that space.

  5. Open faucets to slow drip to prevent pipes from freezing. Wrap at-risk pipes with newspaper or insulation to keep them warmer.

  6. Do not open the refrigerator or freezer to prevent the cold from leaking out, which can cause your food to spoil. If power isn't back on in 24 hours, you can pack snow in to keep food from spoiling.

  7. Do not travel unless absolutely necessary.

  8. Do not go near any power lines on the ground.

  9. Check on neighbors, especially the elderly who may need help with shoveling snow.

A brief power outage usually isn't a serious situation if you've prepared for the possibility. Take steps to make sure you're ready for a winter storm and if it does happen, use caution to stay safe until power is restored.

Get the protection you need this season. Call Allen Harmon Insurance at (269) 441-5164 for more information on Battle Creek home insurance.

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