During severe winter storms, a home heating system could be inoperative for as long as several days. To minimize discomfort and possible health problems during this time, conserve body heat by dressing warmly; using an alternative heat source, such as a fireplace or portable heater; and confining heating to a single room.
While chances of freezing to death in your home are small, there’s a greater danger of death by fire, lack of oxygen or carbon monoxide poisoning from improper use of emergency generators.
In August, 2003, the Northeast US experienced a power outage on a scale not seen in decades. Business was lost, food spoiled, commuters stranded, and traffic lights non-functional in many cities and towns.
This outage was caused by weak links in the electrical power grid infrastructure, but many types of emergency and disaster situations can affect the availability of power.
What You Need to Know During a Power Outage – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Portable Generator Safety – U.S. Fire Administration (USFA)