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Tips for staying warm when the power goes out

The National Weather Service says preparation is key when severe winter weather conditions come around. Here's what you need to know.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Editor's Note: The video above details tips on how to keep your pipes from freezing over during the winter. Read more on that here

Frigid temps are here to stay for at least a little while longer. While Iowans may be used to it already, it's never a bad idea to be prepared for potential power outages amidst winter storms. 

The National Weather Service (NWS) has a list of tips to keep in mind if you're stuck at home during a winter storm. 

The first tip is to stay inside. If you're using heat from a fireplace, wood stove or space heater, use fire safeguards and properly ventilate the area. 

If you have a gas furnace, make sure it is not blocked by a snowdrift as soon as it's safe to go outside. If you have an upstairs gas furnace that vents out the roof, you might need to turn off the upstairs unit until the snow melts away. 

When your heat goes out: 

  • Close off unneeded rooms to avoid wasting heat. 
  • Stuff towels or rags in cracks under doors.
  • Close blinds or curtains to keep in some heat.
  • Eat and drink. Food provides the body with energy for producing its own heat. Drinks lots of water and other non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic drinks to prevent dehydration. Cold air is very dry.
  • Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing. Remove layers to avoid overheating, perspiration and subsequent chill.

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