Living in Ontario, if there is one thing we can be assured of it is that emergencies happen. Whether it is weather related such as an ice storm or man made such as a propane shortage, we have had more than our fair share of emergencies to deal with. That’s why it never hurts to have a plan for some of the more predictable emergencies. Below are some idea’s on how to become better prepared and more comfortable when the next event hits our region.
Brown outs and blackouts are common in Ontario. Some are due to lack of supply others due to natural disasters either way there are affordable ways to prepare your home to be more comfortable in the event of a prolonged electricity outage.If the electricity goes out in the winter the main concern is how to heat your home and the risk of flooding through no power to the sump pump. Forced air heating such as a gas furnaces, oil furnaces or propane furnaces will not work without power. The best solution for maintaining you and your families comfort during a blackout is to have a backup generator. Backup generators
have improved significantly in recent years with the very latest models having the following features:
- Operate using from either natural gas or propane
- Able to automatically start within seconds of a loss of power
- Supply power seamlessly without any intervention required
- Shut down seamlessly when the power is restored
- Available in a range of sizes to power everything in your home or just the essentials (sump pump, freezer, heating system)
- Mobile Link – enables you to monitor your generator from a pc, tablet or cellphone
- Standby generators are highly recommended for homes with sump pumps.
Heat Without Electricity
If a back up heat is your main concern you may want to consider adding a fireplace or stove.For rural locations the most popular choices are wood fireplaces or stoves, though pellet stoves with a small local backup power source are becoming increasingly popular. For urban homes gas fireplaces, either natural gas or propane are an excellent choice, a low cost fuel and a source of heat that doesn’t require electricity to operate.
Heat without Propane or Oil
While it is quite likely that the recent propane shortage that affected most of North America was a one time event, it pays not to be reliant on a single source of fuel to heat your home. For rural houses the most popular choice is pellet stoves. Low cost to operate, no sourcing, chopping, drying and storing wood and more environmentally friendly. Wood fireplaces and stoves are more work but offer a natural and there is nothing quite like a real fire. For urban homes natural gas fireplaces, if natural gas is available, are an excellent choice with attractive fireplaces and stoves available that are both efficient and low maintenance.
It may not be possible to predict the exact nature of the next emergency but it’s a pretty safe bet there will be one. RB can provide expert advice to ensure that you and your family are well informed and better prepared.