Power Outage: What to Do When You’re in the Dark
If you have never experienced a power outage before, you may be in for a surprise. It hardly seems like something you need to prepare for, after all, when all there is to it is to simply light a couple of candles and wait for the lights to come back on, right?
This is how we learn, though, but if you’d like to be a bit more comfortable the next time everything goes dark, you’ve definitely come to the right place. Here is a handful of great tips in terms of how you can prepare your home for a power outage when you know it’s coming as well as how you can prepare for it, in general.
It just makes it so much easier to make the most out of those pitch dark hours rather than just aimlessly flipping the switch on and off without any result.
First: Think about food
You should hope that the first time to your experience this doesn’t involve seeing the oven go off which has been cooking your food for only a short half an hour. One of the most frustrating things about a power outage is undoubtedly the realisation of not being able to cook – or, even worse, realising that the food you’ve been cooking has gone to waste.
It’s only half-cooked, after all, and you can hardly eat it or store it away as if it’s still raw. Instead of experiencing this dread, you could transfer all of your food into a fireproof pot, light up the BBQ, and cook it outside instead; no electricity needed. This is a great tip if you were cooking a stew or something similar, though, as this should be able to handle the heat of the BBQ.
If the situation hasn’t come to this yet, you should avoid being left hungry and without dinner by preparing for the power outage beforehand. Sure, you should just go and get takeaway – but it won’t be as nice as the food you’ve prepared.
Try to stack up on canned food and cold snacks, in general, and make a platter for your family. This is the kind of food that doesn’t require any cooking at all and you’ll still feel like you ate a complete meal. Check out this article for some great platter-ideas, by the way, and stock up on this right away if you know that a power outage is on its way.
Next: Keep a power outage box handy
When everything is dark and your household is flashing their cell phones around to see, you’ll be happy that you prepared this simple box of necessities. Include everything you know that you’re going to need such as flashlights, matches, and candles so that nobody will have to walk around in the dark – or rummage through the house to find what they need.
While you may be thinking that you can just use your cell phone to light up the house, this will quickly drain its battery and you don’t really have a way of putting it back on charge either. You could include a portable charger for your phone as well in this box, by the way, in case the power is out for so long that your phone is falling asleep.
This is the kind of thing you’ll be really happy that you remembered when the power goes and your phone is only showing a small stripe or two.
Include water in this box of necessities as well and some canned food in case you can’t fit it all in your cupboard in the kitchen. While the power may come back on any moment, you don’t really know for sure when it will be back; have a look around the neighbourhood, as a first instinct, and try to see if the rest of the area has a power outage as well.
If this is the case, you might be sitting in the dark for a while. If it’s only your house, you could always just call up an emergency electrician to set everything right again. While it may seem like a relief to see that other people are also left in the dark, it’s actually a curse in disguise as this indicates a more serious problem with the power in your area.
Have a look around, in other words, and hope that it’s only your house so that your electrician can come and fix it rather than waiting for your local municipality to throw themselves around and set things straight. It will, undoubtedly, take a bit longer.
When you’ve been without electricity for a few hours, a couple of things start to become clear in terms of what your biggest problems are: the hours are slow and boring. During the first half hour, you’re probably still getting used to the darkness and might even find the whole situation a bit amusing.
When the hour strikes ten in the evening, on the other hand, and you realise that all of your free time is gone, you’ll definitely be more annoyed than amused.
Sure, you have food to eat, water to drink, and flashlights to brighten up the place but without electricity, you don’t really have anything to do as watching Netflix via your mobile data will come at a costly price at the end of the month.
Back in the days, you know, they had to keep themselves entertained without electricity and this is what you will have to do now as well. Put some books in that emergency box of necessities, include some board games if you’re able to convince your family to join you, and consider investing in a small reading light so that you can read without using the flashlight.
It will be a bit more boring than you’re used to but this could be a great time for your family to simply gather around the canned goods and enjoy each other’s company. Those lit candles will make your home look quite different all of the sudden so play a few games with your family and try to enjoy the dark hours.
Before you know it, the power will be back on and you can turn the TV on again – as well as those cell phones, the Smart Home system, your slow cooker, and everything else that makes life so incredibly easy. Who knows, maybe a good power outage will help us to appreciate those electronics a bit more?