When your lights go dim, you may wonder what the problem is? Or, you may know? Either way, you have a lot to do. I’m going to share some survival tips for Power Outages, resulting from recent experience.
1. Locate light sources and keep them handy.
Light Sources include candles, flashlights, camp lanterns, and oil lamps. Most homes have a few of these items being used as ‘decorator accessories’. Candles in glass jars are particularly appropriate for lighting during a power outage. In fact, I keep a few extra in the cupboard just for this purpose.
Oil lamps work well for overall lighting. These have a wide wick and offer a few degrees of warmth as well as light. By raising or lowering the wick you get more or less light. Adjust it for maximum light using the least wick for economic lighting.
Flashlights require batteries and should be used sparingly, unless you have an unending source of batteries. They are required for exterior lighting, when you leave the house. Candles won’t work outside in the dark. Winds blow them out.
2. Locate heat sources and use them sparingly, but stay warm.
Alternate heat sources may not be readily available. However, by using good old fashioned common sense, you may be able to find heat sources that will work.
If your kitchen stove is not electric, it may be helpful. Newer gas stoves require electricity to light, if your stove is electric light, do NOT try to bypass the electric lighting mechanism.
All gas water heaters are a good source of warmth. Turn the hot water on to drizzle to keep pipes from freezing and allow the water to fill a wash pan in the sink, so that it can also ‘drain’ overflow. Warm water in the sink emits heat. Do this in all rooms with running water.
All gas cook stoves are a good source of heat. Bake cookies, prepare food in the oven, cook soups or stews on top of the stove and keep them cooking. The steam warms the air, and the heat keeps you warm. A warm bowl or cup of soup warms your body. Warm cookies are also heart and body warming. You can leave the oven on low to heat your home. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR OVEN UNATTENDED when leaving the door slightly open to emit heat.
If you happen to have a fireplace, it would be an awesome source of heat and cooking resources. You can prepare food in most fireplaces with a bit of ingenuity. Forks to cook meat, or a large cast iron pot or pan can be used in fireplace cooking.
3. Body heat and snuggling power work wonders.
Those old-fashioned activities are meant to keep you warm. Wrap up in blankets and snuggle on the couch with a good book. Read to your family members, or encourage them to read to you. Put on extra clothing, and bundle up as if you were going to be out in cold weather. (You are.) Pile on the extra blankets at night. Leave the hot water running but turn off all other heat at night, while you sleep. Occasionally get up and turn on the oven for an hour or so if necessary but NEVER leave it unattended.
Keep little kids warmer by putting them in with older kids or parents. Their bodies don’t make as much heat as yours does, so take extra precautions to keep them warm. If you get wet, change immediately; wet bodies get cold faster. Stay dry and stay warmer.
Remember your Christmas stockings, all hung by the fireplace with care. This is an excellent way to dry clothing only NOT on the mantle. Hang your stockings, damp clothing, and other wet gear over the back of a chair 4 or 5 feet from the fireplace.
4. Resort to power free work sources.
This article was written first with a pen and paper by candle light. You can still work, even without a battery powered computer. Keep a spiral notebook handy for inspirations. Working pens are a plus.
Since you’re going to write everything on a computer later, a rough outline by pen and paper is probably enough, with a few comments to pull it all together. Grammar, spelling, and other editing can be accomplished later on the computer.
Phones with hard lines that don’t require power hookups are necessary to power outages. Have at least one on each line coming into your home.
You can probably charge your cell phone when you drive your car, although you may not be going anywhere. So, use it sparingly.
5. Check power sources to be certain cause of outages is not a repair issue.
Make sure lines on your property are not down, or burned. Visual inspections will verify this. Just check at connections outside to power meter, to connections, and fuse boxes. Check breakers to be certain they haven’t flipped or kicks off.
Various causes of outages require an electrician to repair your services before you can restore power to your residence. During the recent storm ice and weight on the lines caused a burned connection before the meter. I lived with the outage for four days before I called in the local power company, because an electrician had thought it was inside my house.
Don’t hesitate to call in an expert. Their help can be a time saver as well as a life saver.