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How to stay warm when the power goes out

Researchers have found several tricks to help you when the lights and heat are out after losing electricity.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The lights are out, and it's time to hunker down. The first thing you want to do is put towels along the bottom of all your doors and windows to keep cold air from sneaking into your home.

Then make sure every door in the house is closed. That helps stop cold air from flowing through the house.

Next, it's time to pick your command center for the storm! You're going to want to stay in one room as much as possible. Try to pick a bedroom with the fewest walls to the outside and windows.


And speaking of those windows: during the day you'll want the blinds up and open to let in as much sunlight as possible. But at night, you should cover the window with a towel or blanket. Painters tape is the best way to hold up the blanket. If you don't have that, thumbtacks also work and minimize damage to your walls.

For extra warmth: set up a tent inside that room. Yes, the same tent you take camping. A blanket fort can work too. That smaller area helps lock in your body heat.

And you can do that with your clothing too! You'll want at least three layers. An outer coat. A sweater. And an inner base like an undershirt and long johns. Avoid cotton for this base because it will soak up your sweat and make you colder.

And avoid alcohol! It might make you flush, but it really lowers your body temperature and impairs your ability to shiver, one of your body's best ways to warm itself up.