How to keep it together when the power goes out!

power-outageWith all of the recent whether upheaval causing power disruptions lately, it seems that now is an appropriate time to review what to do in the event of a power outage.

First, make sure the power is actually out by checking your fuse box to make sure none of the fuses are blown. If everything is fine there, then call your power company to report the outage and to get an estimated time it will be turned back on. Now you know the power is definitely out and will be for a while, so what do you do?

The best way to get through a power outage successfully is to be prepared. In a power outage, people can get scared and confused, particularly if it’s dark. Therefore, you’ll want to have one spot in your home, where you keep your emergency supplies, that is easily accessible and simple to find in the dark. Also, your kit should be portable in case you need to leave your location.

Your home emergency kit should include, but is not limited to: fresh batteries, flashlights, extra bulbs for the flashlights, some candles and matches, a battery operated radio or TV, a warm blanket or two, some bottles of water, a few snacks like granola bars and other easily opened non perishable foods, a first aid kit, as well as a few doses of any critical medicines you may need, a multipurpose tool or Swiss Army knife, and a deck of cards or favorite board game.

If you have babies in the home, you’ll want to have their emergency items as well, including diapers, formula, and/or baby food, some wet wipes, extra clothes and other items you’d generally keep in your diaper bag. If you have pets, don’t forget to have some food or treats for them in your kit as well.  

Generally speaking, if you’re at home when the power goes out, and you don’t have to leave, you will have most of these items in other areas of your house, but there are good reasons to duplicate them in your “emergency kit”. Having all of these items close at hand in one place, goes a long way to providing not only the things you will need, but also a sense of security.

When the power goes out, you don’t want to have to go hunting all over your house in the dark for a flashlight. There are also other very practical considerations. For example, you’ll want to limit opening your refrigerator and freezer to keep the items inside cold and fresh, that’s why you have a few bottles of water and some snacks and baby and pet food in your kit.

Having your essential medicine is also important; particularly if the power goes out on the day you would normally refill it. If there’s some in your kit, you at least will have enough to get by until you can get to the pharmacy again. 

Since the power will often go out due to bad weather conditions, it’s often safest to stay where you are. Hanging out inside, in the dark, with nothing to do but worry about when the power will come back on, will get boring and stressful quick. This is why it is recommended to have cards and/or a board game, to pass the time while you wait. 

Author: M.H.

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11 thoughts on “How to keep it together when the power goes out!”

  1. one thing i have been on a mission in looking for is board games at the thrift store…and I do have decks of cards and small non electric games for the kids…as well as crayons (multipurpose)

  2. A good part of my put away goods are games. Cards (with prepper and garden tips) and a copy of Hoyles, Go, Chess, checkers, dominos and many others have their own nook in my storage area. Entertainment in grid down will be vital to those use to being spoon fed their boredom breakers on plasma screens.

  3. I am a professional musician and have many instruments of all kinds in my home. When the power goes out, I am Never bored! I also have many instruments that can entertain a non- musician and young children like my grandson. He can play on a piano, drums, various inexpensive rhythm instruments, handbells, boom whackers, ukulele, small harp, toy piano, harmonica, recorder, singing, etc. None of these require electricity and keep us going for hours. I have picked up many of these items at garage sales and thrift shops. Even in the dark, we can play most of them. As long as “keeping quiet” isn’t an issue, we are fine. My adult children do almost immediately freak out, however, as they are addicted to their devices like so many are. They eventually come around and enjoy a little jamfest on their instruments as well. Then there are those things called “books”! Catch up on our reading!

  4. Part of my EDC is a flashlight I always have in my pocket. It gets more use than you would think since it makes it easy to look into dark corners and under furniture and cabinets in the shop. Seems when I drop things they always go right under the center of the nearest hard to reach location.

    But when the power goes out, the first thing that happens is the flashlight comes out of my pocket and everything else becomes easy to lay our hands on.

  5. Good post and good comments.Having lived through power outages lasting over 10 it can be a challenge.We have experienced that it usually takes us more time to do everything.(ex.
    keeping the woodstoves going,filling a generator,sometimes carrying water from the sump pump area if it gets too high and threatens stored items-putting up plastic and creating a sleeping bag area for family in that one warm room) We have board games and lots of good reading on hand.
    Sometimes people overlook a place to get weather reports etc if your crank or battery radio
    isnt working and thats your vehicle radio.Also a good place to sit and warm up if you need to.
    Folks hang on as storm Titan hits this Sun-Mon. and prayers to you all in Calif and
    the midwest and north for ice . God bless. Arlene

  6. I most often don’t even know when the grid goes out at my house because I have a large grid tied battery backed Hybrid solar power system. If by day the house will run from the roof and by night from the battery bank. Solar is getting very reasonable in costs. You should all consider it if you own you own place and see the sun at least occasionally.

  7. I try to have plenty of gas on hand for the generator as well, we were down for about 6 days a few years back during the cold of February…with 2 big water tanks for the horses and three smaller ones inside the barn that and heat in the house were major concerns. Hard to keep even a little on hand these days with the price of gas :/

  8. Righto, Justin, but make mine a Remmy twelve gauge. The point about rampant stupidity, during a blackout, should be taken by all.

  9. You can get a good back up generator (portable) for around 600 to 700 dollars. 5500 to 7k watt should be enough to run furnace, fridge and a few lights. Make sure you keep enough gas and oil on hand for when you need it.


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