Depending on where you live, you might have had a pretty cold week. Unfortunately, in Texas and other states, many Americans found themselves unprepared and without heat during this week’s massive snowstorm. To help our readers survive a situation like this, here are some tips to stay warm when the power goes out.

To Stay Warm When the Power Goes Out, Conserve the Heat You Already Have

During a blackout, the first thing a family should do is try to preserve the existing heat in the home. This means staying close together and limiting the use of doors and windows. Opening doors can cause massive heat loss. Instead, you want to focus on the rooms where you’ll be spending the majority of your time.

Beyond keeping doors shut, be sure to block up any gaps through which cold air can seep in. To do this, place towels or blankets under the gaps of doors. Drafty doors are a menace in the cold weather.

Window Watching

For a family trying to stay warm when the power goes out, duct tape can be a life saver.

Cover your windows with plastic sheeting, shower curtains or even garbage bags. Cover room partitions with sheets. Duct taping these temporary barriers can help keep them in place for days, if needed.

During the day, let the sun shine in to help add some warmth. At night, close all the blinds and curtains. For windows without curtains, block them with a heavy blanket to prevent heat loss.

Dress in Layers During a Power Outage

As we mentioned in our guide to cold weather safety, dressing in layers can help a person stay warm. In this case, be sure to wear thermal underwear, extra socks and several layers of shirts.

Guide to Snow Shoveling Safety

Wearing a hat indoors may seem silly, but it is remarkably effective, especially if the hat covers your ears. After all, layers of protection aren’t just for pool safety, they can help keep you alive in the frosty cold, too.

Another tip is to gather the family together into a single room. Body warmth can help to heat a single room far better than if everyone is scattered around.

Candles and Solar Heaters

When it comes to staying warm during a blackout, every bit of heat helps. To this point, consider burning some candles. As long as you’re doing this safely, and always with careful supervision, a small group of candles can help keep the room warmer.

Additionally, if you’ve thought ahead, some solar powered heaters can be a wonderful solution. These devices can be rather expensive, but since they only rely on sun-power, they’ll work perfectly in a situation like this one.

Prepare for the Future

According to the Center’s for Disease Control and Prevention, “being prepared is your best defense against having to deal with extremely cold weather. By preparing your home and car ahead of winter storms or other winter emergencies, and by taking safety precautions during extremely cold weather, you can reduce your risk of developing health problems related to cold weather.”

Prepare a Family Emergency Plan

As usual, that’s good advice. At any time, power outages can take us by surprise. During the colder months, it can be a struggle to stay warm in these situations. However, a bit of preparation can make a difficult situation much easier for a family.

  • If possible, purchase a generator. These gas-powered machines can help run your furnace and even some space heaters.
  • Keep a supply of ready-to-eat food available, just in case you are unable to cook.
  • Take a good look at the areas of your home that are drafty. Try to make the home as energy-efficient as possible to help keep the heat inside.
  • Purchase high-quality camping supplies, such as tents and sleeping bags. These tools actually help to keep you even warmer when the bitter cold is howling. They work just as well set up in your living room as they do out in the wild.