With a blizzard on the way, I worry that my furnace won’t be able to handle it

I live in an area with very distinctive, but fairly mild seasons.  We enjoy nice, warm summer weather, and in the winter, the temperature rarely drops below freezing.  A few inches of snow sometimes accumulates, but it’s never a problem.  This year, however, our winter has been absolutely awful.  The temperature plummeted in the middle of October and within a few weeks, we had several feet of snow accumulated.  Now, the weather forecast is calling for temperatures below zero, extensive snowfall and bitter wind chill.  We are preparing for a giant blizzard, which is expected to last several weeks.  I’m worried over whether or not my old furnace can handle the strain of the bigger workload.  I take very good care of the furnace, but it’s over twenty years old.  I always have the heating system serviced by a licensed professional in the fall.  Prior to the start of the winter weather, I have all of the components thoroughly cleaned and adjusted.  The HVAC contractor tightens electrical connections, lubricates moving parts, and verifies the integrity of the heat exchanger.  He checks for any potential problems and sometimes replaces a few minor parts.  Hopefully, this will be enough to keep the furnace operating reliably and efficiently until spring.  I certainly don’t want to be faced with a sudden malfunction in the middle of  horrific weather conditions.  I can’t survive without heat and would rather not be in a rush to to replace the whole heating system.  I’m sure the local HVAC contractors will be busy with emergency repair calls, and getting service will be difficult.  I can’t imagine how challenging it would be to purchase and install a new furnace during a blizzard.

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