WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Cities across the state of Kansas are preparing for the first winter storm of 2022, with Wichita crews treating roads, and power companies working to make sure everyone’s electricity stays on.

Storms can be unpredictable, though, and sometimes the heat in your house can go out or your power can go out. If that ends up being the case during tonight’s wintry mix, here are a few things you can do to stay warm.

  • Blankets, a heated one if possible – Bundling up with some blankets is one of the first things you might think of, but you can take it one step further with an electric, heated blanket. These will heat up to a specific temperature, and are a good way to stay warm if you still have electricity. If you don’t have electricity, try to find the thickest blanket you have, to conserve body heat.
  • Layers, layers, layers – This seems fairly obvious, but the more clothes you have on, the better your body will retain heat. Try to make sure you have something fleece-lined, like a flannel, a coat, or even both. If you need a reference, think of Randy in A Christmas Story.
  • Candles – It is really important to stay safe while you are trying to keep warm, especially because road conditions can cause delays for emergency vehicles if something happens and you are in need of assistance. That said, candles can be a viable source of heat if you don’t have a fireplace. Just grab a few candles and set them in the middle of your kitchen table, away from anything that can catch fire.
  • Indoor camping – If you have ever been on a camping trip in the winter, you know that a tent can do a good job of trapping heat, especially if it is inside your home. Grab the family, some blankets, and a few pillows and hang out in the tent for a while. Besides, who doesn’t love a family camping trip in the middle of a winter storm?
  • Find a space heater – If you have electricity, but no heat, try a space heater. Many space heaters can heat an entire room within an hour, and can keep a room heated to a specific temperature. Some online vendors like Amazon have USB powered ones as well, so you could power it from your laptop if you lose electricity.
  • Take a road trip! – Okay, not really. But if you do find yourself without power and heat, going out to your car can be a viable option, even if it is a short-lived one. What is really important to remember is not to do this in your garage. The emission of carbon monoxide can be deadly if there is not proper ventilation, like if you are outside.

The best thing you can do is prepare as soon as possible. Don’t wait for the electricity to go out, or the heater to quit working. Have a plan in place to keep warm in case something like this happens.

The most important thing to remember during this weekend’s storms is to seek additional help if you need it. Check local Facebook groups or community boards to find warming centers and other resources that can help in case of emergency.