Tag Archives: winter tips

The 11 Essentials Every Winter Storm Kit Should Have

fusion-electric-survival-kit-winter-weather-storm-kitAlthough winter storms can provide pretty scenery and fun for the kids, the destruction they can cause is nothing to play around with. A power outage can affect entire towns for days, picking grocery stores clean of essentials, and leaving you stranded. Being prepared can mean the difference between a dire situation or an inconvenience, which is why it’s crucial to prepare your family and your home with a winter storm kit.

Related Read: An Electrician’s Guide to Power Outages

What Will I Need In My Winter Storm Kit?   

Putting together a winter storm kit is one of the best ways to prepare your home and family for the unknown. You can buy pre-made kits from websites such as Live Prepared or the American Red Cross, or you can put your own kit together. (A DIY kit is recommended if your family has specific needs such as prescription medication or infant formula.)

   When putting together your own winter storm kit, you should include these basics:

  • Clean water
  • Emergency food
  • Emergency heat
  • Lighting
  • Matches and candles
  • Prescription medications
  • First aid supplies
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Battery-powered radio for updates
  • Shovel
  • Games or books to pass the time

Do I Really Need That  Much Water?

YES! Survivalist experts recommend having one gallon of water per day, per person, for at least three days.

That means having a minimum 15 gallons of bottled water stored for a family of five. You can buy drinking bottle size, gallon size, or five-gallon jugs to store your water, depending on where it will be kept.

Winter Weather Hack: Many companies also sell emergency liners for your bathtub that you can fill when a winter storm is predicted. (The standard bathtub usually holds about 100 gallons.)    

Don’t Be Left In the Dark

A sufficient winter storm kit should have several methods of emergency light, including flashlights with extra batteries, a kerosene lamp with fuel, and emergency candles with matches. A battery-powered camping lantern is also useful for lighting up main living areas of your home.     

Food for the Whole Family

Make sure you have enough non-perishable food items for your family, for a minimum of three days, with seven days being recommended. Include items that do not need to be cooked (like energy bars, cans of tuna, and cans of fruit). Stock up on Sterno cans for occasional cooking when the power is out. Freeze dried emergency food is also important to have on hand, as it takes up little room and lasts for 10+ years.

Helpful Hint: If you have canned foods, don’t forget the can opener!

Stay Warm During the Storm

When the power goes out, so will your main source of heat. If you have a fireplace, stock up on quickstart logs, or have a sufficient woodpile somewhere that won’t be covered by snow. If you don’t have a fireplace, keep lots of warm blankets, thick socks, hand warmers, and winter clothing to keep warm.

Related Read: Are Electric Space Heaters Dangerous?

Plan Meds Ahead    

Plan ahead to have extra supplies of prescription medication and medical supplies for anyone in your family who needs it, especially things like EpiPens, inhalers, or insulin. If you run out of medication while you are snowed in and your town is shut down, a simple inconvenience can turn life threatening.

It’s also important not to forget basic first aid supplies to your kit for minor injuries. Include bandages, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic wipes, fever and pain reducer, a cold compress, first aid tape, gauze, and gloves.     

Reach for the Radio

A battery-powered radio will help you stay connected to the world outside and get updates on how disaster relief is coming along in your area. If you end up being stuck at home for several days with none of the regular entertainment devices working (No Netflix? How will you pass the time?!), card games, compact board games, books and puzzles can keep your family entertained. Good morale is important during times of trouble.     

Don’t Forget Fido!

If you have pets, make sure you don’t forget them! It’s easy to forget a few things while prepping for winter weather, but make sure you prep for pets if you have them. Stock up on food and water for your furry friends as well.

Contact us for any electrical needs or concerns you have this winter, and stay safe as storms come your way! You can always give us a call at (913) 648-9487, we are here to serve you.

Benefits of Installing De-Icing Wires or Heat Trace This Winter

heat-trace-de-icing-wires-fusion-electricIt’s that time of year again! The time when driveways and sidewalks are slick as can be and the snow shovels are coming out of hibernation. Have you considered the damage this same ice might be doing to your gutters and siding? Today, we’re giving you an inside look at why de-icing wires, also known as Heat Trace tape or cables, are a great investment for your gutters and roof this winter.

Related Read: Are Electric Space Heaters Dangerous?

What Are De-Icing Wires/Heat Trace Tape?

De-icing wires are simple, relatively low-cost wires you run along metal piping (such as your gutters) in order to keep the pipes warm and to melt away ice and snow.

Why Use De-Icing Wires?

de-icing-wires-heat-trace-tape-cables-fusion-electric-kcDe-icing wires prevent ice buildup from harming your home. They are especially helpful in preventing ice dams, which are walls of solid ice that form in your gutters that clog them completely which can lead to serious issues. Think of your gutters after fall, with all the leaves jammed inside and before you or a professional cleans them out. If ice dams form while they are already clogged, this will cause snow, ice, and water to overflow and back up onto your roof which may lead to leaks from water seeping in through the cracks.

Additionally, if ice freezes between the shingles on your roof or your siding, it can cause serious problems. When water freezes in between your siding and shingles, it expands. When this melting and refreezing occurs repeatedly, it can lead to permanent damage.

How Are De-Icing Wires Installed?

Although the installation may be fairly simple, because it involves an electric cable and potentially hazardous outdoor work, we strongly recommend hiring a professional to help. Give your trusted Kansas City electrician a call and for more information on installation and your home’s specific needs.

Related Read: Whole House What Protector?

Looking for an electrician you can trust? Give the experts at Fusion Electric a call at (913) 563-7975 or schedule an appointment online today!

3 Electrical Ways to Improve Your Home’s Value during Winter

You are royalty, and your home is your castle. Don’t let your castle depreciate. Maintaining and improving your home’s value is one of the most important parts of being a homeowner. Fusion Electric brings you three ways to update your home and ensure it increases in value.

Heated DrivewayHeated Driveway

Living in the Midwest (especially Kansas City), winters can be long and harsh. One of the most treacherous parts of this season can be your driveway, particularly if your property is on a slant. Not only is snow an issue, but we often have to deal with freezing rain and sleet, which makes any incline or decline dangerous to drive on. Save yourself the hassle and install a heated driveway. This will make sure you never have to worry about getting out of, or into your driveway when you need to again. Not to mention you won’t have to shovel snow either!

Heated GuttersIce Dam Prevention

Another way to make your home safer while also improving its value, is to add heated panels in your gutters. This simple addition can make a world of difference when it snows, thaws, and refreezes throughout the winter. Usually this results in ice dams on your roof and in your gutters that can potentially be dangerous to passersby below, and also to your entire gutter system. Heated gutters will ensure any snow and ice melts efficiently so ice damming is never an issue.

Energy Efficient LightingEnergy Efficiency

Lately there has been a huge push for all things energy efficient. Don’t let your home get left behind. Soon, energy efficiency will be the standard. Simple additions, like LED lighting, ‘vampire’ fighting power strips, in-wall timers for outdoor lights, etc., will help keep your home current, while also saving you money on utility bills at the same time. That makes it double the worth!

Related Read: How to Switch Your Home to Energy-Efficient Lighting

Call Fusion Electric today to help you add value to your home in 2016. You can reach us at 913-563-797.

 

How to Prep Outdoor Outlets for Winter

Outdoor Outlets Winter Prep

They key to a successful and restful winter is preparing for it. The first freeze and snowfall aren’t as far off as they seem. With the holidays fast approaching, now is the time to ensure that you don’t have an electrical meltdown during the peak of the season. Fusion Electric came up with four things you can add or do to your home’s electrical outlets now for an easier and safer winter.

Add Electrical Outlet Covers

One of the most important things you can add to your home this season are outlet covers on your exterior outlets. This small addition to your home can save you a lot of hassle down the road. Between the wind, rain, snow, and ice that are so common in the winter months, it’s likely that liquid will get into your uncovered outdoor outlets – and wreak havoc in the freezing temperatures. Installing these plastic or metal covers to your outdoor outlets will keep unwanted things out, and ensure that your outlets continue operating like they’re supposed to all winter long.

Related Read: Electrical Must-Haves for Hanging Holiday Lights

Install GFCI Outlets

Piggy backing on the last point, you should also consider installing GFCI outlets, or ground fault circuit interrupter outlets , in place of all your non-GFCI outdoor outlets. Doing so will ensure a much safer holiday season when it comes to your holiday decorations and outdoor lights. GFCI outlets prevent electrical shock in wet locations by shutting off electric flow when it senses a disruption in the electric current. This can help prevent blown fuses as well as shocks and electrocutions.

Add More Outlets if Needed

Just put the power strip away. It’s tempting to use power strips everywhere during the holidays, with all the lights, decorations, sound systems, etc. that are used in abundance this time of year. It’s really in your best interest not to though (unless it is an advanced power strip). Power strips can become overloaded and can be a fire hazard. Instead, call a local electrician to install more outlets inside your home and along the exterior to accommodate the needs of your holiday decorations.

Light Timers

Another item to have on hand this winter is light timers. Instead of leaving holiday decorations on until you remember to turn them off, use a light timer. This can not only help keep that electrical bill down, but it can also help lower the risk of an electrical fire. You can buy light timers that you can permanently install or simple plug in versions that will do the trick for the season.

Call Fusion Electric at 913-563-7975 today to help you prepare your home for the electrical demands of the winter season.