Here’s How to Prepare for a Rolling Blackout Amid Winter Storm

USA News

  • Major energy companies have warned that they are initiating rolling blackouts. 
  • The announcement comes amid frigid temperatures throughout the Southern and Northeastern US.
  • Here are ten ways to prepare for a rolling blackout. 

Baby, it’s cold outside.

The US continues to grapple with unprecedented arctic weather that has reportedly left over a million without power ahead of the holiday weekend. The National Weather Service warned earlier this week that sub-zero temperatures and intense winds were underway. 

The winter storm has resulted in at least 17 deaths, NBC News reported, some related to fatal crashes. And more than 10,000 flights have been delayed as of Saturday, leaving people stranded in the airport. In addition, utility companies have announced “rolling blackouts” to prevent power grids from failing. 

For instance, Tennessee Valley Authority, which also provides services for several other states, informed the public that due to extreme weather, it “directed local power companies to reduce load.”

“Planned intermittent interruptions support system reliability,” the company tweeted. “We appreciate everyone’s patience and support as we manage this unprecedented demand.”

Here are ten ways you can prepare for a winter blackout, according to The US Department of Energy and The Weather Channel:

Keep a flashlight and batteries, and phone charges handy

mini flashlight


Have a household first aid kit available

first aid kit

Getty Images/belchonock

Candles and matches are essential, but be wary of open flames in case of a potential gas leak.

matches fire

Markus Zeller/Shutterstock

Gather extra wood for your fireplace, if applicable 

round mirror and white faux fireplace in room

New Africa/Shutterstock

Stock up on nonperishable food and disposable utensils

Assortment of Canned Goods on Shelf

Canned vegetables are a perfect add-in to bulk meals.

Aaron J Hill/Shutterstock

Store extra blankets, mittens, hats and socks 

model wearing hat and gloves made with the Autumn Blossom Hat & Mittens Kit

Ancient Arts Fibre

Close doors of unused rooms to conserve heat


George Frey/Getty

Have at least a gallon of drinking water per individual for each day

bottled water


Have a personalized disaster plan in place for your household

family watching tv


Know your utility company’s emergency number 

power lines

Marco Bello/Reuters

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