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Survival Tips for Winter Weather

Oncor announced that they are implementing rotating power outages to conserve electricity. While the outages will typically last 15-45 minutes, those increments may vary. Go to Oncor.com to check the status of power in your area and sign up for alerts.

So, suppose you’re experiencing an extended power outage or otherwise feel unprepared for Snowmaggedon 2021. In that case, Better Business Bureau serving Central East Texas provides the following tips to help you get through the next few days.

Staying warm:

Layer your clothes. Start with a thermal or moisture-wicking layer if possible, followed by something thick enough to block out the cold yet still flexible enough for you to relax in. If more layers are needed, try t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, scarves, and warm socks. The goal is to have enough layers to stay warm without feeling like you can’t move. If you have to go outdoors, add gloves and something to cover your face.

Camp out together in one room. If you don’t have a room with a fireplace, choose a relatively small room without a lot of windows or drafts. Close all of the other rooms and seal off drafts by rolling up towels to cover the space between the door and the floor. However, if you’re using a kerosene heater, you will need ventilation, so refrain from sealing off the room.

Keep the cold air out. Seal the windows and doors. If you haven’t done so already, you can use plastic wrap or bubble wrap (This is not safe if you have small children), blankets, or towels. You can even cut a pool noodle in half, wrap it in fabric, and line the bottoms of your doors with them to help keep the drafts out.

Snuggle. Keep Valentine’s Day going! Layer blankets strategically. Fleece or Sherpa on the bottom, a comforter in the middle, and another fleece or Sherpa on top.

Move

Walk, march in place, do some chores, anything else that gets your heart pumping will help warm you. Just do enough to warm up, not enough to work up a sweat. Remember, sweat is your body’s natural AC, something you don’t want to turn on when you’re cold! 

The following are some steps to follow if a weather emergency knocks out your power:

Don’t keep opening and closing the freezer/refrigerator doors. Try to keep them closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature.

Group food together in the freezer. It helps the food stay cold longer than if you spread the items out.

Move food to the bottom of the freezer. Heat rises, so the bottom of the freezer will naturally be the coldest.

Freeze some refrigerated items. Moving items such as leftovers, milk, fresh meat, and poultry will give them a better chance of surviving the power outage. Keep in mind, a refrigerator will keep your food cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened, and your freezer will keep food cold for up to 48 hours if left unopened.

Use the cold to your advantage. Put your food in a cooler or ice chest and place it outside. Depending on the temperature, it might stay cold longer than if you left it inside for an extended period. Avoid putting food outside directly into the ice or snow because it can attract wild animals or thaw when the sun comes out.

For more tips on how to be a savvy consumer, go to bbb.org. To report fraudulent activity or unscrupulous business practices, please call BBB at 903-581-5704 or use BBB ScamTracker.