Tens of thousands of people are spending Boxing Day in the dark across Canada and the U.S. due to power outages caused by winter storms and other issues over the past few days.
It was a similar situation in the U.S. as winter storms continued to hit the country. More than 37 people died due to the weather and parts of New York were buried in snow on Monday, as reported by CNN.
Storms cause power outages to millions of people every year and there are ways you can stay warm even without power.
Some of these tips are more long-term, but a few of them might be useful even if you can't run out to the store right now.
Get a portable generator
Consumer Reports recommends getting a portable generator to get you through a power outage.
It says a smaller generator can output between 1,800 to 2,000 watts which can power a large space heater and charge cell phones.
BC Hydro advises only operating a portable generator outdoors and in a location where the exhaust can't get inside your home. Also don't plug the generator into a standard household electrical outlet.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends placing a generator at least 20 feet (six metres) away from a window, door or vent and in a space where rain or snow can't reach them.
Stay in a southern-facing room
Staying in a southern-facing room on a sunny day can also help you keep warm on a day you're without power.
If possible, have more than one person stay in the room with you as that will help you generate more heat.
Seal doors and windows
The cold air can still come in through any leaks in your doors and windows so it's important to seal those if possible.
The best tools to do that with are caulk or weather stripping, but duct tape and clear plastic sheeting are also options.
Consumer Reports says draft guards work well when it comes to sealing doors, but towels and blankets are also a possibility if you're in a time crunch.
Use a fireplace or wood stove
If you have a fireplace or wood stove, that's another way to stay warm, just make sure you never go to bed with a fire still burning.
Buy a portable propane heater
If your home doesn't have a fireplace, you can also buy a portable propane heater.
According to Consumer Reports, only a propane heater designed for indoor use is recommended during an emergency.
The website also notes that heaters produce carbon monoxide so ensure you have a window open to allow proper ventilation and turn it off when you're going to sleep.
Having a working smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm on every floor is also highly advised.
Since you shouldn't sleep with a fireplace or propane heater, make sure to layer up and use adequate blankets, coats or sleeping bags to stay warm indoors, as per the CDC.
The health authority also notes that sweating too much means your body is losing more heat and is an indication it's time to remove extra layers, especially if you need to be outside. It also says not to ignore shivering as that's the first sign your body is losing heat.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.