Many homes use electricity as their main or only source of heating. This article contains practical tips on how to be best prepared for a major power cut.
We all know that the lights won’t work in a power cut, but it is easy to forget about the heating. In a major incident, the first priority is saving lives, and it may take some time before the power supply is back. You ought therefore to be prepared to manage without electricity for a few days.
Wood-burning stoves and open fireplaces are a good source of heat. If you have a wood-burning stove or fireplace, make sure that it functions correctly and that you have enough wood. And make sure you have matches or a lighter.
A free-standing gas or paraffin heater is a good option if you do not have a wood-burning stove or fireplace in your home, or if you would like to have a more portable heat source. Check that the heater is in good working order and is intended for indoor use. Remember that you will also need gas or paraffin.
Important points when storing gas and flammable liquids in your home.
Winters can be very cold in Norway. Even if you have made alternative plans for heating in the event of a power cut, it may not be possible to heat your home to a comfortable temperature. It is therefore a good idea to make sure you have a small stock of warm clothes, blankets and sleeping bags.
If you are unable to make good back-up heating plans, make arrangements with your neighbours, family or friends about shelter in an emergency.
Remember that you will need light both to illuminate the room you are in and to move about. A headlamp or torch will do the job. A battery-powered camping lantern can also be used to light up a room or outdoor area. Candles and paraffin lamps can be used as well as supplements. Remember that you will need matches or a lighter, and paraffin or lamp oil.
If you are critically dependent on electricity, an emergency generator will make you less vulnerable in the event of a power cut.
A generator is an engine that runs on petrol or diesel and produces electricity. There are various emergency generators on the market. You can buy them from most building supplies and hardware stores.
Generators use a lot of fuel. If you intend to store fuel at home, make sure you take the necessary fire prevention measures.
Remember that a generator emits carbon monoxide gas which can lead to poisoning. Follow the user manual to ensure safe placement and good ventilation when using a generator. Read more: How to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning