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WPS offers tips on keeping warm during power outages in extreme cold

Published: Feb. 7, 2021 at 6:12 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Several reports of power outages have occurred due to the winter storm that blew through late last week, and now, members of Wisconsin Public Service are sharing simple steps on how customers can avoid a power outage and prepare in case one does happen.

WPS Media Spokesperson, Matt Cullen, says to be prepared and have that emergency kit ready to go.

He says items to consider in the emergency kit include:

  • Extra blankets
  • Flashlights
  • Bottled water
  • Battery powered charger for your cellphone

WPS says people can make their home stay warm during the winter months, especially as the weather remains bitter, by using efficiency tips.

“Using some caulk or weather stripping to seal up any gaps around your windows or doors, the warm air stays indoors and doesn’t leak to the outside,” said Cullen.

He adds customers are urged to contact WPS right away of any issues with their electric or natural gas service.

People can download the WPS app to report an outage and receive updates on repairs. CLICK HERE to download it.

You can follow these cold weather tips to keep your family safe:

  • Be prepared: WPS provides safe and reliable energy every day, but outages in extreme weather can happen. Be prepared for winter power outages by assembling an emergency kit with blankets, flashlights and battery-powered chargers for your cellphones. Also, download the WPS app to report an outage and receive updates on the status of repairs.
  • Space heater safety: If you plan to use a space heater, do so safely. Only use newer models with safety features like automatic shut-off. Plug the heater directly into the wall. Don’t use extension cords or power strips. Place the heater on a flat surface away from children and pets, and keep it at least 6 feet away from flammable materials like drapes or blankets.
  • Safe sleeping: Do not take risks with your electric blanket. When you’re not using your blanket, turn it off to reduce the risk of fire. Keep pets away from electric blankets, as their teeth and claws can puncture wire insulation and cause damage.
  • Prevent carbon monoxide dangers: The risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is greater during the winter months. Stay safe by installing a CO detector, clearing heating vents of any snow and ice, and learning the symptoms of CO poisoning.
  • Prevent furnace issues: Have your furnace inspected by a qualified technician once a year, and clean or replace furnace filters as needed. If your furnace stops running, contact a qualified heating contractor.
  • Keep clutter away from furnace: Keep the area around the furnace and water heater free of clutter. Never store flammable liquids near those areas. Taking these steps can help reduce the risk of fire and damage to the furnace.
  • Oven safety: Never use a stove or oven to heat your home. Not only is it inefficient, it could lead to CO poisoning.
  • Let the sun in: Open the curtains when the sun is out and use the sunlight to help warm your home. Close curtains on windows that don’t face the sun. Close all curtains at night to help retain heat and cut down on drafts from windows.

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