Preparing Your Home for a Power Outage

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More than 1,600 Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative customers were still without power Tuesday (Dec. 10). Tuesday's total was significantly less than the 36,000 people across the are who were without power at the height of the ice storm.

While power has been restored to many customers, people are already thinking about how they can be prepared for the next round of severe weather.

James Bailey, manager of the Yeagers Hardware and Lumber in Greenwood where more than 100 homes were still without power Tuesday, said his store sold out of kerosene, propane heaters and lamp oil during the recent storm.

Bailey encourages people to plan ahead for power outages by getting a heat source that does not need electricity. He said the most common options are kerosene and propane heaters and generators.

Kerosene heaters may be kept inside the home, according to Bailey, but propane heaters should be kept outside with a line that runs the fuel into the home.

Danny Lipford, host of the nationally syndicated show "Today's Homeowner" said it's important for people using a generator to not overload it.

"Even though it's bitter cold outside, make sure you use that generator outside," said Lipford. "Not in a garage, not in a porch, but actually outside so the carbon monoxide is not a problem."

Lipford said people can prevent their pipes from freezing by opening the cabinet doors and allowing the warm air to reach the pipes. If there is a garage attached to the home, Lipford suggests keeping the garage door closed to conserve the heat.

Bailey said they also sold a lot of flashlights, batteries and other light sources which do not require electricity. Bailey said people should not wait until the last minute to prepare their home for a power outage.

"It's kind of like milk," he said. "You go to the grocery store the last day and there isn't going to be milk or bread there."

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