Need More Help? Use the Form Below or Call 1-888-559-6352

The email address and phone number are good ways to reach me.

What to do when the power goes out in the winter

Dec 21, 2021

An electrical worker elevated on a truck fixing an electrical wire on a metal utility pole.

Now that the winter is upon us, it’s time to start thinking about that dreaded cold weather and those harsh, freezing storms. Winter weather can create all sorts of problems, like loss of power. If you’re wondering what to do when the power goes out in the winter and how to prepare for a power outage in winter, then these tips will be sure to help.


Preparing for winter power outages before they happen is the best way to keep you and your family warm, safe, or even just comfortable throughout winter. Here are tips to help prepare for a power outage, as well as tips for enduring an outage should it occur.

How to Prepare for a Power Outage in Winter

Invest in a Generator

A backup generator is great in case you end up facing a power outage. They’re helpful at any time of year, but especially in the wintertime when temperatures get below freezing. Generators can power a home and keep the temperatures bearable when they would otherwise become frigid. While generators don’t have an endless battery life, you can expect them to help a great deal. On average, a generator can power a medium-sized house for up to 3,000 hours during a winter power outage. You can also invest in a portable generator for powering a few appliances and charging essential technology like phones and laptops.


Winterizing your home before the cold weather hits is a great way to prepare for possible outages, but it also helps make your home more energy-efficient. Something as simple as weatherstripping your doors and windows can block chilly drafts. You can also add insulation to your attic. Upgrading old exterior doors with modern, energy-efficient doors can help you stay warmer longer. It’s also a great idea to insulate your home’s piping in case of an outage since this will help keep them from freezing or bursting.

Food and Water Supply

Keeping a ready supply of nonperishable food items and water helps you rest easy when a coming storm threatens a power outage. It’s also a great way to handle unexpected outages. Choose plenty of foods that don’t require a lot of preparation or that can be cooked on an outdoor grill. Cereals, rice, instant coffee, dried nuts and fruits, and other nonperishable food items are great choices. Keeping a plentiful supply of clean drinking water is also beneficial. If you have children, don’t forget baby foods, formula, and other foods they can easily eat.

Have Flashlights (and Batteries)

Power outages mean your lights may not work, but battery-operated equipment will. Make sure you have a ready supply of flashlights and batteries so you can find your way around even in the dark during a power outage. 

What to Do When the Power Goes Out in the Winter

Report the Problem

If you face a power outage in winter, check to make sure it’s not due to a tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse. If you’re sure it’s a genuine power outage, then call your power company to report the problem. They may be able to explain the issue or give you an estimate on when your power will return. 

Use Your Generator

A standby generator is a helpful piece of equipment. It comes in handy during winter emergencies like an unexpected power outage. You can expect your generator to power a lot of your home, keeping it comfortable while the power is restored. Keep in mind that you should always keep your generator stored outside and away from any open windows. This will keep carbon monoxide from building up inside your home, keeping your family safe.

Bundle Up

If you don’t have a generator and your home loses power in winter, gather a bunch of warm clothes and blankets. Long underwear, knit hats, sweatpants, sweaters, and gloves will all come in handy. You don’t always know how long a power outage will last, so be sure you have multiple layers to keep you warm. 

Utilize the Fireplace

If your home has either a gas or wood fireplace, then get a fire going. You can let everyone gather around the fire to stay warm. Light some candles if it gets dark and tell some family stories or have a game night.

Close the Windows and Doors

This may be common sense, but the more windows and doors you open, the quicker your home will get cold. Close all the windows and try to keep exterior doors closed to keep the cold out and heat in. If you have window coverings, close them to trap in the heat.

Shut of Major Appliances

Major appliances and equipment can get damaged during power outages, especially if the power comes on and off a few times. Unplug major appliances so they don’t get damaged by power fluctuations. To help you know when the power comes back on, leave some lights on around the house.

Need a Standby Generator?

A standby generator is one of the best ways to ensure you, your family, and your home stay safe and warm all winter long. Our expert team at CroppMetcalfe can not only help you determine the best generator for your home, but we can handle the installation process and tackle any maintenance projects as they arise. Contact us today for more information about our home generator services.



What Our Customers Say...

"I've been a CroppMetcalfe customer for 9 years and you have always provided outstanding service. I just had my semi-annual maintenance done, and I wanted to thank George for the truly outstanding service, professionalism, and excellent advice. He is definitely one of the best 5-Star Technicians I've had! Thank you CroppMetcalfe!"

Bill H