Severe Weather Safety

When severe winter weather hits, stay safe and prepared. 

When extremely cold temperatures are in the forecast, consider staying indoors, keep your phones charged and utilize our cold weather safety tips. If you do experience an outage, report your outage online.

Safety tips for cold weather 

Extreme cold is brutal for everyone. Follow these tips to stay warm:
  • Prevent frozen pipes

    Run water at a trickle to prevent pipes from freezing. Open cabinet doors for warmer air and move harmful cleaners out of children's reach. Keep garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.
  • Don't heat with a stove

    Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Operate generators outside

    Never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage.
  • Use a fire place screen

    If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
  • Wear layers

    Several layers of lightweight clothing will keep you warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing body heat.
  • Watch space heater placement

    If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface. Keep anything flammable at least three feet away (such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs).
  • Bring pets indoors

    If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and access to unfrozen water.
  • Don't touch the thermostat

    Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night.Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid a more costly repair job if your pipes freeze and burst.
  • Create an emergency kit

    Stay severe-weather and storm ready by making an emergency kit. Get more info on building yours here.

Winter storm health hazards

Two potentially life-threatening dangers occur in freezing conditions―frostbite and hypothermia. Wear warm, loose-fitting, layered clothing to help protect yourself and your family from them, and learn to recognize their symptoms. 

  • Frostbite is the freezing of toes, fingers and other body parts. Its symptoms include cold, waxy or discolored skin, ranging from flushed to white, gray, yellow or blue, and loss of feeling in the affected areas. If you suspect frostbite has occurred, move the person to a warm place and get medical assistance as soon as possible. Warm but do not rub the affected areas. 
  • Hypothermia is a shut-down of the body's warming system. Its symptoms include shivering, weakness, numbness, confusion and unconsciousness. Move the person to a warm place, replace any wet clothing with warm, dry clothes and call 911. 

Power outage safety 

If you're experiencing a power outage during a winter storm, these tips can help keep you safe: 

  • Stay away from power lines, meters and other equipment. Always assume a downed power line is still energized.
  • Report an outage through our online form if you have access to a smartphone or internet. Or call our automated line at 1-888-LIGHT-KC (1-888-544-4852). This line is automated because that’s the fastest way to get your information to our crews working to restore power.
  • Turn off most of your lights and unplug appliances and other electronic equipment to avoid overload damage when power is restored. Learn more about power restoration.
  • Unplug any heat-producing devices, like irons and stoves, to reduce the danger of fire if power is restored while you are away.
  • Avoid opening your freezer and refrigerator doors. A full freezer will keep its temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if half full) if the door remains closed.