We’ve really come to depend on power for survival, so it isn’t fun at all when it goes out. Here are some ways that I’ve found can make power outages a little less stressful, and more enjoyable.
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• Have flashlights + spare batteries- put the spare batteries in a place separate from the flashlight, not in the flashlight itself. You don’t want a ruined flashlight when the batteries get old and leak everywhere!
• Headlamp – You’ll look totally ridiculous with this on, but I embraced it anyways and having my hands free was sooo worth looking like a coal miner.
• Lanterns – These ones are a bit flimsy, but I bought them anyways and I’m so glad I did. They are INSANELY bright and compact down to a pretty small size. They are also great for camping!
• Scent-free candles- I learned this the hard way when the power went out a few years ago. I lit a bunch of scented candles because it’s all that I had on hand, but after an hour the whole house smelled like a mixture of strong scents, giving us all a headache. Scent free candles are best for power outages.
• Glow sticks- These are fun entertainment for kids, and they produce small amounts of light. It’s a win-win for everyone!
• Generator- Check with your local city laws to see if they are allowed, then keep it outside.
• Freezer trick- Keep a glass of frozen water in your freezer with a coin sitting on top of the frozen water. When the power goes out, the water will melt and the coin will sink to the bottom. That way if the power comes back on and the water refreezes, you’ll know that if the coin is frozen on the bottom then the power was out long enough for the water to melt, and your meat probably unthawed to the point that it’s now not safe to consume.
• Have a water storage- during a power outage the water treatment plants may not be able to function properly, causing your water to be unsafe to consume. It’s always good to have extra water stored. I have 2 cases of water bottles, a WaterBOB that I would fill up right after the power goes out, and 4 of these containers filled with water.
• Water safety- It’s important to know how to properly store water and make it safe for drinking. Check out the CDC’s page on how to do just that.
• Build a food storage- In my food storage I keep food that needs to be cooked to consume, and food that doesn’t. I would use the food that doesn’t need to be cooked during a power outage. You can read my post of food storage building here. Camping stoves and charcoal grills are great for outdoor cooking during a power outage.
For Warmth During Winter Outage:
Carbon monoxide poisoning is a very real and deadly thing so I try to stay away from heat sources like camp-stoves, grills, and propane lanterns indoors. Here are my alternatives:
• Sleeping Bag
• Tent- setting up a tent in your living room, and then having everyone sleep in it can keep body heat in one place, keeping everyone warm throughout the night.
• HotHands – I LOVE these. You can stick them in your shoes (make sure to wear thick socks, they do get pretty hot!), in your pockets, or in your gloves. They are awesome little heat packets that require not work. Just take them out of their package and the exposer to air will cause them to heat up!
• Layers- Wear thick socks, long-sleeved shirts, coats, scarves, hat, gloves…pretty much anything that you would wear outside on a cold winter day.
• Blankets- thick and heavy blankets can do wonders with providing warmth.
• Workout- Your body will produce its own heat if you give it a reason to! Jumping jacks usually do the trick for me.
• Eliminate heat loss- weather proofing your home such as installing a window insulation kit , weather-strip seal around doors, and outlet sealers can make a big difference in preventing cold drafts from entering your home.
• Open blinds- let that warm sun shine in during the day!
For Cold During Summer Outage:
• Close blinds- anything that you can do to prevent the hot sun from coming in through your windows will greatly help the temperature in your home stay low.
• Open windows at night when its cooler- let in all of that cold, fresh air!
• Leave your home and head to a library or shelter that still has power and air-conditioning.
• Card/board games- things can get pretty boring when the power goes out. What on earth will you do without your TV?!? Card and board games are a great alternative. Make sure to have some on hand that all ages in the family can enjoy.
• Unplug appliances- a power surge can occur when the power turns back on and you don’t want all of your appliances and electronics fried!
• Have an emergency weather radio – it’s nice to have this on hand to stay up to date on what’s going on outside your home.