by Karen Emergency Prep.

Power Outage Tips

Worse case scenario

During the last black out, the dentist’s office called asking why I didn’t come to my appointment.  “You have power?” I asked. “Yes, so come on over.” I couldn’t leave the running generator at that moment, and I also couldn’t imagine sitting in the dentist’s chair after three days of no showers.

I noticed a friend of mine continued home schooling the first day power went out in the recent black out in New England, but called off the second day. I’m sure her children learned a ton of good information both days! Kudos to you, Bizzy!

Scary things that happen when the lights go out

No access to the nebulizer for asthma. This is ok. We have hand held nebulizers. None of our medications require refrigeration.

Our well does not produce water without the electric pump. We break out the paper plates. (Not Styrofoam.) After using them, they go in the campfire.

At times when the power goes out, I wish the windmill was more than decorative.

We have cell phone chargers we use often, so we have at least a day of power to keep our phones going and more if we use them sparingly. Our landline no longer works during power outages because it is linked to our computer set up.

My husband discovered these. They’ve been worth it–we got one for free and the other for nearly free.

Although we have a gas furnace, it doesn’t work without electricity. We layer our clothes and sleep in sleeping bags in our beds.

We keep a box of old candles. Most of them came from my mother-in-law’s cache of Christmas past. Some I picked up from  yard sale free boxes. We have matches.  Candles can cause fire. Be careful. The power company doesn’t recommend using them. We choose to teach safety and use total supervision. That means no child or husband leaves the room carrying one that is burning. I am not into scraping wax off the floor! It also means no child is left alone with one. They love that little game of trying to put it out with a finger and not get burned. We’re not going there! Molding hot wax into little cars isn’t an option either. Side note: We had a child who loved to play with fire. After giving him the weekly chore of burning the branches and other yard debris, his fascination with it calmed down. Nothing like work to take the fun out of something.

This box has survived many black outs.

We do use flashlights, mostly rechargeable,  even when we have no power outage. They are always ready.

We don’t use a gas grill. We like wood fires. That’s how we cook. Don’t cook in  the house! You’ll produce poisonous gases and burn up your oxygen.  Some lamps can do the same thing. Beware! Be careful!

This should have a higher spot on the list. We have a French press for coffee. It’s bad enough to hang around waiting for the power to kick back on. How would anyone do it without coffee?

I use this every day with or without electricity.

I use only a manual can opener. If you forget you might need one and accidentally donate it, you can open a can with a knife. The time to figure this out is now while you have internet access and power. A quick scan will help you know what to do if the situation occurs. Once you’re in a black out, you probably won’t have good internet access or you’ll waste your cell phone battery.

Our garage door is not only manual, but broken, so our car is not locked inside. Be sure you have a way to free your car.

Usually our power outages occur in the coldest weather. This is great. We have coolers for refrigerated items and put them on the back porch with a heavy rock on top to keep out the possums, raccoons and coyotes. We don’t open the freezer.

I recommend pushing the whole thing up against the wall to keep the bigger animals from leaning against it and tipping it over.

We keep a generator in operating condition, but don’t use it unless the power is out more than six to eight hours. We have to keep the water pipes from freezing and that is the key to our generator use. The most difficult issue with the generator is that it can’t run if the regular circuits are on line. So we sometimes run it longer than needed because we don’t realize the power is back on. We watch the neighbors’ houses to see if they have power.

The blue jug

It’s not pretty. It requires frequent dusting. We rarely need it. But when the power goes out, we wouldn’t trade it for the world. The stored water in it is not for drinking. We use it to flush toilets. Many people fill their bathtubs for toilet flushing. Neither of our tubs hold water well enough to do this. They have slow drips that are soooo slow they rank on the bottom of the to do list.

If only it were green, then it would at least match the bathroom curtains.

The benefits

We let God remind us that our electric water pump, indoor plumbing, lights, heat and computers are wonderful gifts that make our life rich—far richer than those who lived 200 years ago. It’s difficult to imagine living without the switches that light up our lives, wash our clothes, dry our hair, contact our families, bake our bread, and tell the time. We can’t help but be thankful to have these things back in operation. We even pause to wonder at the minds God gave us that allow us to invent the devices that fill our lives with ease and give us time to pursue other things instead of toil incessantly just to survive. God is so good to us!


You can visit past posts for more emergency preparedness ideas covering hurricanes  here , tornadoes here and blizzards here.