Winter brings the threat of power outages. You can prepare for the worst with these tips from the Family Handyman magazine:
• If you can’t afford a generator, buy a power inverter to turn DC current from your car into AC current that can power electric gadgets. An inverter to power a tablet or laptop costs about $25, but bigger models are available for $100 or more that can run power tools and appliances.
• Have one or more LED flashlights or lanterns on hand. They use much less power than old-fashioned incandescent types, so their batteries will last six to 10 times as long.
• Make sure your gas grill’s propane tank is full, so you can cook a hot meal.
• When a big storm is bearing down, it’s a good idea to make just-in-case plans with friends or relatives who can put you up if the power stays out for a matter of days. Don’t wait till you’re desperate, because phone and Internet communications may be more difficult at that point.
• Fill zippered freezer bags with water and keep them in the freezer. They’ll help keep the freezer cold if the power goes out, or they can be used to chill food in a cooler.
• Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector. If you need to depend on a fireplace or other alternate heating source, place the detector in the same room to warn you if the deadly gas builds up.
• Fill your car’s gas tank. Even if you don’t use the car for transportation, you may need it to charge your cell phone or just have a warm place to sit (outside the garage, of course).
• Make sure you have a battery-powered radio. If your phone and Internet service go down, it may be your only source of weather and emergency information.
• The Antique Pickers Back Roads Tour, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today, Holiday Inn Express, 231 Park Center Drive, Wadsworth. Buyers will be available to make offers on antiques and vintage items. People with items too large or numerous to bring to the event can request a home visit by calling 217-415-6720.
• The Good, the Bad and the Ungulate: Long-Term Experiments With Native Forest Species, Invaders and Deer, 7 p.m. Thursday, Reinberger Classroom, Holden Arboretum visitor center, 9500 Sperry Road, Kirtland. Talk by Susan Kalisz of the University of Pittsburgh. Part of Holden’s Scientist Lecture Series. Free, but registration is required at 440-602-3833 or www.holdenarb.org/visit/speakers.asp.
• Community garden meeting, 10 a.m. Jan. 18, Broadview Heights City Hall, 9543 Broadview Road. Meeting for those interested in community gardening in Broadview Heights. Afterward, Christine Harris, an Ohio State University extension master gardener, will present Waking the Garden on preparing a vegetable or flower garden for spring. www.broadview-heights.org/357/community-garden.
• Garden Book Club meeting, 2 p.m. Jan. 18, Cleveland Botanical Garden, 11030 East Blvd. Garden admission: $9.50; children ages 3-12, $4; members and younger children, free. 216-721-1600 or www.cbgarden.org.
• Ohio Maple Days workshop, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Jan. 24, Mennonite Christian Assembly Church, 10664 Fryburg Road near Fredericksburg, Wayne County. Workshop and trade show for hobby and commercial producers. $30 if paid by Monday (lunch included); $35 at the door (lunch not included). Event also offered Jan. 23 in Morrow County and Jan. 25 in Geauga County. www.ohiomaple.org.
Submit notices of classes, programs and events two weeks in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org or Home and Garden News, Features Department, Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309-0640. Please include name and phone number. All events must be open to the public.
Mary Beth Breckenridge can be reached at 330-996-3756 or email@example.com. You can also become a fan on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/mbbreck, follow her on Twitter @MBBreckenridge and read her blog at www.ohio.com/blogs/mary-beth.