Imagine this: It’s mid-winter, darkness has set in, a blizzard is on the way, and you’re headed into the weekend. It sounds like a great night to put on some cozy pajamas, turn on your favorite show, pop some popcorn, and settle in for a quiet few days at home – warm and sheltered from that howling wind outside.

Until…suddenly the lights go out, the tv screen goes black, and your furnace shuts off. You didn’t realize how much noise surrounded you as the hum of your appliances fades away. Dark, quiet, and quickly getting colder, you aren’t sure of the next best steps.

Severe weather, technical issues along the grid, downed power lines, and other various causes can stop power to your home and neighborhood – and it’s something we’re no strangers to here in Charlottesville. This is why we want our customers to be prepared to make it through the darkness safely – and even comfortably. Here are a few ways you can make sure that you are ready and equipped to handle your next excursion into the world without power.

Want to ensure your chimney is in tip-top shape for when you need it most? Call or book online with us today.

How Can I Best Prepare for a Power Outage?

The best way to ensure you’re good to go when the power goes out? Be prepared for it before it happens.

There are two major tools that you should have in your belt that will help you not only get through the power outage, but possibly remain comfortable and cozy through it.

1. A Ready & Working Fireplace or Wood Stove

One of the most important tools you have at your disposal during a power outage is your stove or fireplace. Those who use their system regularly are already familiar with the benefits a fireplace offers to a home when the lights are on. Those benefits are only maximized when the electricity goes off.

A fire in the fireplace or stove will provide a home deprived of electricity with a number of important things:

a red lit candle on a little candle stand next to an open book with a lit fireplace in the background
  • Light: One of the most important things for your safety when the electricity quits is light. There are plenty of hazards around the house from furniture to decor, and things that are easily avoided when the lights are on suddenly become dangerous when the power is out. A fire in your heating appliance will provide light, so that you can avoid these hazards and keep yourself from tripping over that coffee table.
  • Warmth: Without heat, the temperature in your home can drop quickly. Not only does this become very uncomfortable for living, but if not addressed it can lead to frozen pipes that can burst and cut off your water supply. A fire can provide enough warmth that freezing isn’t an issue – and comfort can be maintained.
  • Cooking & Boiling Water: If your power outage lasts for an extended length of time, food is going to become a necessity. That said, if you use an electric oven or stove, it won’t do you much good… Your fireplace can provide you with a way to heat up food and boil water.

2. An Emergency Kit

The other important tool in your belt is a kit full of handy supplies that prepare you to move around, communicate, and outlast the power outage. Here are some important things that you should have on hand before the power outage takes place:

 Batteries & Flashlights: Just because you have been temporarily disconnected from the power grid doesn’t mean that you can’t use power. Batteries, and plenty of them, will provide your flashlights and LED lanterns with power, illuminating your way as you move through your home. Make sure that you have enough flashlights or lanterns for anyone moving around the home – and enough batteries to last for a few days of darkness.

✓ First Aid Kit: In the darkness, you are bound to step on a misplaced toy or bump into an end table. Make sure you have bandages, gauze, and other first aid materials on hand to take care of minor abrasions, so that they don’t become more serious.

✓ Warm Blankets, Sleeping Bags & Clothing: While those pajamas truly are cozy, you are going to need some reinforcements. Making sure that you have heavy blankets, sleeping bags, and clothes available to keep you warm, comfortable, and sleeping well will prove to be important as you wait out the outage.

✓ Backup Power Supplies: Your cellular phone is going to play an important role during the power outage. It will keep you in touch with neighbors and resources that inform you on how widespread the power outage is and how long you can expect to be without electricity. You will need to keep it charged. There are many backup power supplies available, including solar and crank power, that can keep your cell phone available to you.

someone using their phone to light up and look at a fuse box

Hire Us for Fireplace Installation Services

The Chimney Guys team is here to help ensure your home stays well lit and warm at all times – even during the dark and cold of a power outage. Call us today and let us help you make sure your fireplace and wood stove is ready to keep you warmer, safer, and happier during the darkness.

Or, if you need a new appliance installed, we can help with that too. Call or book online today.