By Steve Rensberry, Editor
Our friends at the AccuWeather Global Weather Center issued a stern warning early this week urging people to be prepared for some of the coldest temperatures we’ve seen this year so far. “An invasion of Arctic air will plunge temperatures to their lowest level since last winter,” the center said. “and may set the stage for the biggest lake-effect snow event so far this season in the Midwest.” The report suggests that this week’s deep freezes might come as a shock to Midwestern residents who, it says, have not experienced an extreme old snap since Nov. 10-13. “This cold push will prove to be more intense, longer-lasting and even dangerous for people and animals who are outside for long periods of time,” the report said. The good news: it looks like we may be on the southern edge of the front. Even then I doubt whether too many people around here will be either shocked or surprised by a sudden change in temperatures, up or down, given the wild fluctuations we see almost on a regular basis these days.
How can you stay warm in your house or apartment if the power goes out? That’s a good question, but a deadly serious one if it goes on too long. A nice back-up generator in every home would be nice, but they don’t run cheap and somebody’s got to pay for it. Anyway, here’s a few tips from our friends at Liberty Mutual:
• Mitigate Heat Loss. That is, trap what heat there is in your home by blocking the places where it can escape. Open the curtains on windows that face south, to help when it’s sunny, but keep them closed elsewhere. If the outage is a long one, move all of your activities into one room, such as the living room, and keep all other interior doors closed.
• Fire up the fireplace, if you have one.
• Use a portable, non-electric space heater, but crack open a window to let any toxic gases to escape, a danger whenever propane or kerosene is used.