Local utilities said they are ready for winter outages.

Xcel Energy said Tuesday it had additional crews on standby -- including those at the Red Wing Service Center.

Pierce Pepin noted that all its crews are local. “Our our lineman live within 10 minutes of the service center,” a spokeswoman said Tuesday. “And a lineman is on call 24 hours a day.”

Dakota Electric, too, is poised for whatever Mother Nature throws our way.

“As an electric utility, a portion of our business is emergency preparedness. Our personnel and crews are trained and experienced to regularly respond to outage situations. While we are prepared at all times, when we see a storm coming, we make sure crews and trucks are prepared and our personnel go on high alert until the threat passes,” said Joe Miller, public relations director.

The National Weather Service had forecast significant snowfall combined with strong winds Tuesday through Wednesday -- conditions that can cause power outages.

Here are some ways Xcel said that residents can prepare for winter, too.

Build a home emergency kit. Some items include battery-powered radio or television, flashlights and batteries, backup phone chargers, bottled water and nonperishable food, plus a first aid kit.

Observe food safety. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, food safety is directly related to the temperature of the food. To maintain refrigerator and freezer temperatures during an outage, keep doors closed as much as possible.

A full freezer will stay at freezing temperatures for approximately two days and a half-full freezer approximately one day. Visit the USDA website for more information.