Thanks to a Polar Vortex making itself famous all over North America, this winter has brought us extreme cold warnings, frozen pipes, and on the lighter side of things, the Frozen Pants Challenge social media phenomenon.

While complaining about the weather seems to be a shared pastime of many, it helps to put some of that energy into increasing our know-how and preparedness when Jack Frost comes nipping at our nose and knocking out our power.

Whether it’s minus four or minus 40 outside, power outages in winter weather are nothing to laugh at.  Thankfully we have some helpful tips to help keep you (and your home) a little warmer should you find yourself without power before the spring weather arrives.

Tips For Keeping Warm When you Have no Power

  • Keep trips outside to a minimum and, if you can, only use doors that go through the garage or an enclosed porch
  • Spark up your wood or gas fireplace to help maintain temperatures (bonus points for reloading the firewood before the storm arrives)
  • Stuff towels and blankets against the cracks under doors to keep the heat in (and act as a reminder for people to keep their trips outside to a minimum)
  • Use a portable (indoor safe), non-electric space heater
  • If it’s sunny outside, keep the curtains open on all south facing windows to get all the benefits of the sun’s heat (if it’s not sunny, keep the curtains closed to help keep the heat inside)
  • Put on an extra layer (make like you’re winter camping and put on those long johns, sweaters, hats, mittens, scarves and sweaters)
  • Gather your thermal sleeping bags and wool blankets to layer up and help stay cozy
  • Close the doors to rooms that won’t be in use
  • Grab some duct tape and plastic wrap to add another layer of insulation to your windows
  • For longer power outages consider spending most of your time in one room in the interior of the house, with the doors closed to help maintain the heat
  • Use your Car Generator to keep your furnace (and small appliances) running, even if your power isn’t on
  • Have lots of space?  Consider putting up a tent inside to further protect you from the cold, as that’s what it’s made for!
  • Put on some warm wool socks and slippers
  • Burn a grouping of candles near you (supervised and not when you’re sleeping) to provide a small space of warmth
  • Use some heated water bottles for an ‘old school’ electric blanket feel
  • Get moving to help boost your metabolism and warm you up!
  • Consider taking a road trip (if the roads are safe) to a friend’s or family member’s home, or even indulging in a short stay at a hotel