Early last December, the weather forecast started calling for a severe winter storm to hit my local area over the weekend. The reports predicted temperatures down to twenty below zero, twenty-five mph winds and an accumulation of four feet of snow. There was talk of driving bans and power outages. Everyone was warned to be prepared for the extreme weather conditions. I made sure to stock up on bottled water, batteries for the flashlight, candles and rock salt. I checked the batteries in the thermostat and replaced the air filter for the furnace. The temperature began to drop, the wind picked up and snow started falling steadily on Friday morning. By the afternoon, I was completely snowed in. I checked the weather forecast and the conditions were expected to steadily worsen. As I got ready for bed that night, I noticed that the house felt way too chilly. I knew I’d turned the thermostat up a bit, but there seemed to be no heat coming from the vents. When I checked the thermostat, I saw that the indoor temperature was down to 65 degrees, and the furnace wasn’t running. I made sure that there was still electricity and no problems with the breaker. I knew the batteries in the thermostat were brand new, and yet the furnace wouldn’t start back up. Realizing I’d be paying a fortune in overtime fees, I started calling local HVAC contractors for repair. Very few of them offer round-the-clock service, and I had trouble finding anyone who was willing to come out during the storm. I finally spoke with a guy who was only a few blocks from my house. He agreed to come take a look at the furnace. Fortunately the problem was minor, and he was able to get the heating system running again.