Many people run to the store for supplies before a big storm in case they're stuck in their homes.
But are you prepared to deal with no heat if there's a power outage? 40,000 people in Cleveland faced that obstacle, Tuesday, when a transformer went out. But here are some severe weather hacks to stay warm.
Your best bet is to get to one of the warming centers the city provides, but if that's not your thing, getting creative with "safe" emergency heat can help you survive a rather unpleasant and possibly dangerous experience.
"Without a furnace or nothing it's really bad," lamented one Westside resident who lost power.
I'd say, considering temperatures dropped to ten degrees, Tuesday night. But there are some things you can do to stay warm if you're facing the freeze without heat.
1. Consider an indoor propane heater or generator. But make sure it's for indoor use. Outdoor ones can cause Carbon Monoxide poisoning. And for generators you should have a licensed electrician install it to avoid overloading circuits or causing a fire.
2. Wood burning stoves are also good.
All of those options can be expensive, so if you are on a budget your first step is to:
1. Pick one room to stay in during the outage. Having everyone in the same area can build up body heat.
2. Even a camping tent will work.
3. Hang blankets over the door to your warm room, and insulate the windows and floor with blankets or pillows.
If you don't have enough, you can get extra ones from a local heating center where the Red Cross has been dropping them off.
4. Block drafts by placing a rolled-up towels at the base of doors.
5. Also avoid opening and closing exterior doors. That can easily drop the temperature 5 to 10 degrees.
6. And during the day, open the blinds on the sunny side of the house.
Now to your clothing:
1. Loose layers will keep you warmer than tight ones.
2. Wear gloves under mittens to trap more heat around your fingers. And put on warm slippers and boots.
Remember, extremities are in the most danger from intense cold.
3. And since the bulk of heat lost is through your head, wear a hat.
4. Your last option, head to your car and use it for an emergency heat up. Bring blankets and other things that will get warmed up and bring them back in the house all toasty. But never run the car in an unventilated area. Carbon Monoxide can be deadly.
Here is my favorite tip of all though. If you have a dog or cat, snuggle up with them. They produce great body heat and you'll keep them warm as well.