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2023 Preparedness - Wednesday's Wisdom: Week 46

November 15, 2023

A few more things to do now.

1. Change your filters. Filters come with recommendations for when to change out filters. Follow them and check them often. Be sure to add vacuuming filters to your cleaning routine.

2. Shower curtain rod. During a winter power outage or to save on your utility bills close off hallways and openings between rooms to contain the heat. Hang blankets, shower curtains, curtains, and even tarps without damaging walls by using a shower curtain rod. Remember the drapes homes had hung in doorways in the 1920s-1950s? They could be closed when temperatures plummeted to contain the heat in one room.

3. Mitigate “energy vampires”. What are energy vampires? Utility companies recognize there are devices that continue to consume electricity when turned off or when they aren’t in use but are still plugged in. Your television and desktop computer are perfect examples. Duke Energy’s estimates suggest that these devices can account for as much as 20% of a typical home’s energy bill. Put another way, you can save more money by unplugging all your devices like phone chargers and cable boxes than by turning down the thermostat. microwave, chargers, or anything with a light on it that indicates it is on into a power strip. At night unplug the power strip.

4. Move furniture. Make sure heating vents aren't covered in the floor. Move dining tables, sofas, and chairs to where ceiling vents force air down, which will be the warmest part of the room.

5. Insulate pipes. Wrap pipes and outdoor faucets. I know of a person whose fence and gate were destroyed because a neighbor’s faucet burst and continued to spew water.

6. Tent. Find your tent and clean it up. During an outage or when lowering the thermostat to save money, set up the tent in a room you are trying to keep warm and utilize the tent to sleep and hang out. Add a chair or two, and a small table during the day, and eat, read, and play games. At night throw down a mattress or cots and sleep.

7. Get it together. When the power fails, you do not want to spend time running around the house or trying to remember where you have stored things. Store your supplies together. Find a location under a bed, in a cupboard, in a guest room closet, or in other easy-to-access areas. Store batteries, flashlights, glow sticks, Mylar blankets, water storage containers, and purifiers, the items you need to make a paint can heater, or a number 10 can stove, and any other items you may need to keep warm.

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