NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Most cold-season power failures happen when winter storms bring freezing rain, sleet, and high winds, damaging power lines and equipment.

In Monday’s life hack segment, KX News is sharing some tips for you to keep in mind in case of a winter storm outage.

“Brrr, it’s cold in here.” That is exactly what you don’t want to be saying in your home during a winter storm outage.

So how can you stay warm?

“We say stay warm, stay fed and be safe. I think that’s an important combination when you’re headed into a storm like this, you know, you want to make sure that you conserve the heat that you do have in case there is an outage,” said Executive VP for ND Association Rural Electric Co-op, Josh Kramer. 

“You can seal up some of your rooms that you’re not normally going to be in by closing doors, putting rags or towels underneath them,” said Homeland Security Director, Darin Hanson. 

Winter outages can be caused by a number of factors.

“The biggest contributor to power outages in the winter is when rain turns to ice, and it starts to weigh down the lines and, especially with the wind capability that makes it even worse,” said Kramer. 

If you know a storm is heading your way, it is best to begin preparing ahead of time.

Grab extra clothes, blankets, and socks. Make sure you have extra batteries for flashlights and have at least a seven-day supply of resources and food available as well.

“Just try to keep the doors to your refrigerators and freezers closed. That’ll help protect food but you should also make sure you have things that are non-perishable like cans of soup, vegetables, things like that that you can heat easily,” said Hanson.

You can also protect your pipes from freezing by leaving the cabinets open under your kitchen and bathroom sinks.

This keeps warm air circulating around your pipes.

If you are using a secondary source of power, like a generator, be cautious.

“To make sure that if you are using any sort of source like a generator, it’s being used properly and it’s grounded. If you have that secondary heat source, make sure you’re following the code for that and not involving dangerous gasses or that sort of thing inside of a closed area,” said Kramer. 

In addition to storm prep, preparing your home for winter is something every homeowner should think about.

And if someone in your home relies on electric medical equipment, register with your local power company and community emergency program.

In the case of an outage, it is important to assume down lines are energized. So do not touch or move them at all, and report them.