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.