It can be a scary time when the power goes out.
All of the sudden, you need to know where things are in your house that can provide light.
You need to be prepared to cook and heat your home without electricity.
If you know it’s just going to be for a couple of hours, no big deal, right?
You play games with your kids or just ignore it if it’s during the day in the spring or fall.
You can live a couple of hours without power, right? No problem.
But what if you have an extended outage? Bad weather or a car accident has disrupted service.
Maybe you live out in the country, so your lines are the last ones to be fixed after a storm.
You could be out of electricity for several days. Add on to the fact that it is the middle of summer or winter, and you could have a problem on your hands.
But don’t panic. Today, I am going to give you 10 tips to help you get organized and ready for just such an emergency.
That way you can make better decisions and find things faster in this kinds of emergency.
10 Tips For What To Do When The Power Goes Out
1. Have many types of light sources together in one place.
You probably have flashlights, candles and even glow sticks laying around your house. These things and other light sources can help you during a power outage. But do you know where they are? If the power went out, could you find them quickly in the dark?
Making a power outage kit could help you gather these things so that when they are needed, you will know right where to go.
Here are a couple of resources to get you prepared with light sources during a power outage:
Power Outage Kit @ Baby to Boomer
11 Ways to Light Your Home When the Power Goes Out @ Urban Survival Site
2. Have a backup fuel source for heating.
If your power goes out in the winter time, you are going to want a backup source of heat.
If you a have a fireplace or wood stove, of course you would start there. You just want to make sure they are cleaned out and in working order each year, especially if you don’t use them often.
Other options are propane heaters, solar heaters and gas for a generator.
I discuss storing fuel in this post —> 7 Types of Fuel You Should Store For Emergency Preparedness
3. Get a generator for backup power.
The #1 rule when using a generator is: don’t use it in the house.
A generator is nice to have to back up things like medical equipment, refrigerator and heating systems.
Try to streamline the devices you need to have power for so you don’t have a web of cords running thru your house.
You will need to store gasoline to use the generator in an emergency.
If you are new to generators, this post can help —> Generators for Beginners @ An Off Grid Life
4. Know where blankets and sleeping bags are for warmth.
One way to stay warm in a power outage is to use extra blankets and sleeping bags. You can even set up a tent in your living room and have everyone sleep together for warmth.
5. Consolidate cooled food into one place.
As mentioned above, you don’t want your generator to work harder than it has to.
So when the power goes out, you want to consolidate your food cooling needs to one place.
If your deep freeze is only half full, see if you can thaw the food to eat or move it to your refrigerator’s freezer so you only have to power one appliance.
If not, if your deep freeze is full, don’t open it and most things will stay frozen for several hours without backup power.
6. Know how to seal off doors and windows.
Insulation is good anytime you want to keep your home warm/cool. It will keep your electricity costs down and make for a more even temperature around your house.
But when the power is out, you want to make sure your heating efforts are working like you want them too.
This may include:
- Closing off rooms you aren’t using.
- Closing blinds and curtains.
- Putting towels under doorways to keep from losing heat.
- Put plastic on windows to keep the warmth in.
Whatever you can do to make your home more efficient before a power outage, the better.
7. Make sure you have enough water.
Water is something many people forget about when they think of emergency preparedness.
You should have emergency water stored for whatever emergencies your family might have.
Atleast 1 gallon per person, per day is recommended.
Here is a post I wrote on emergency water that might be helpful —> Emergency Water Storage for Prepared Families.
8. Have a plan for using the bathroom.
Do you know what to do to make your toilet ready to use in an emergency?
Of course, the boys can go outside, but that isn’t ideal for some of us.
Here are some ideas that can help you when you need to go in an emergency:
7 Steps to Maintaining Proper Sanitation During Power Outage @ Modern Self-Reliance
Make Your Own Emergency Toilet @ Mom with a Prep
9. Use clothing to regulate body temperature.
Clothing can help you regulate your body temperature in an emergency situation.
If you are out of heat in the winter, put on more layers of clothing to stay warm.
If you are hot in the summer, put on less or lighter clothing to keep you cool.
These seem like simple ideas, but we tend to forget simple things when an emergency strikes.
10. Take advantage of family time.
From my prospective as a parent, a power outage could be a great time to reconnect as a family.
As long as no one’s hurt, time without electronic devices, video games and tv could be a great time to bond.
Also, shared experiences become great memories if you treat them right.
So grab some candles, a board game and have a good time together.
You could read (or tell) a story, play cards or warm yourselves by the fire together.
Make the most of the situation and enjoy the peacefulness until the power comes back on.
When the power goes out, it can be a scary time. You forget about what you were doing and bring things back to basics.
By keeping these 10 things in mind, you can make it a good experience for you and your family. It could even make a good memory for later.
Do you have anything to add to this list? Let us know in the comments below. And if you found this post helpful, please share. Thanks!