The Best Tips for Staying Warm During a Power Outage in Michigan
Yes, I will constantly be reminding people that I survived 32 years in Florida before coming to Michigan. I've been through hurricanes, 100 degree summers with 100% humidity, the people...need I say more? With all of that being said, there's one thing I've never had to face...losing power in the winter.
Over the weekend, Michigan had some high winds that apparently did knock out power across the state, at least according to a Facebook post by Bill Steffen, chief Meteorologist for Wood-TV in Grand Rapids. Suddenly, it dawned on me that I have NO idea how to stay warm should the power go out during winter. Or should I say when the power goes out. Especially, in an small, fireplace-less, apartment.
1. Make sure you have an operational flashlight, a battery operated radio, and extra batteries.
Check and check. Living on the east coast of Florida, I was always ready for that next big storm to knock out the power. Hence, why we had a flashlight in every room of the house. A practice I continue now that I'm in Michigan.
2. Candles can be used, not only as light sources, but heat sources as well.
The only way I see this being an issue is with scented candles. How much apple cinnamon smell can one room take? Also, be extra careful if you have kids or animals around and make sure the candles are on flat surfaces. We rarely used candles at light sources during a hurricane because of this exact reason - they caused too much heat!
3. Do NOT use these indoors
Speaking of getting warm...never use charcoal or gas barbecues, camping heating equipment, or home generators indoors. They give off carbon monoxide which can be fatal because we cannot see it or smell it. Again, thanks to hurricanes this one I actually know! And, from experience, make sure the exhaust on generators is facing away from your home.
4. Cozy up!
Both sites recommended dressing up in your winter gear. That includes wearing several layers of loose fitting, light-weight, warm clothing, rather than one layer of heavy clothing. And make sure you wear a hat since that's where most of our body heat escapes from. Quite the opposite in Florida where we would wear as little clothing as possible until the power came back on.
5. Watch for signs of hypothermia
Sorry....that can happen indoors?? We were always worried about heat exhaustion, sure, but at least you could pop into a cold shower to cure that. How in the world do you fight hypothermia INSIDE? Signs of frostbite include: loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in the extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes or the tip of the nose. Good to know (she says with a hint of panic in her voice).
Both websites offer even more tips if you want to check them out. Again it was Michigan.gov and Rent Seeker. More importantly, if there are tips that I've missed please let me know! It's my first real winter in my life and I need all the help I can get!