We are pros at this no power thing these days. A couple years ago sudden gust of sins on a nice summer day ripped off the gutters and knocked down a large tree down the road. The house suddenly had power issues similar for when we lived in Fort Riley Kansas. Power outages left and right. The other day our power company sent out an email telling us to prepare for a power outage.
Of course, widespread power outages is not what anyone wants to hear when there is nothing to do but sit at home… or when a cold spell is rolling in. Never the less we don’t get to plan these things for when they are convenient. Are they ever convenient?
Preparing for a power outage makes life easier then the power goes down.
Being ready for the worst has never been a bad thing. These tips will help you be ready no matter what comes your way.
Protect your food.
With food so hard to come by right now your best bet is to make every effort to ensure nothing gets lost from your freezer and refrigerator.
Before the storm is expected to go out fill containers including old milk jugs and soda bottles with water. Use these to fill in gaps in the freezer. The ideal time to do this is 2-3 days before the storms are expected to roll in. This frozen water will act as ice to help protect your food.
When the power goes out swap some frozen bottles to your refrigerator and move the milk to your freezer to protect it from going bad.
Adding locks to your refrigerator and freezer is a great way to keep people from opening them unless needed. In the summer we keep the locks installed and run a carabiner or ribbon through them to help reduce how often the doors are opened to protect the food. When the power goes out we add the locks. These refrigerator locks can be a great asset for keeping milk, meat, and eggs from going bad.
Plan to use up items likely to be lost. This means if the power will be out more than a couple of hours it can be a good idea to pull out the ice cream as a fun treat.
Prepare to cook for your family
If you have an electric stove you need a backup plan to ensure your family has food in a power outage. If you have a gas stove the stovetop will work fine with a set of matches or a lighter. I prefer long matches so my hands do not need to go near the flame.
A grill is a great investment for feeding your family if you live in an area prone to storms or power outages. Be sure to stock an extra canister of propane or a few bags of your favorite charcoal to ensure you can cook.
Charge it up.
Before the power goes out when storms are expected plug-in devices, and charge power banks. We love power banks for keeping our devices charged and running the light pad that makes a great lamp for the kids. I also make sure to charge up the laptops as they make great charger packs even if I can not work. They are also handy to have charged should power be out for a long period of time so I can piggyback off my phone internet to work.
Test and stock your generator
If you are lucky enough to have a generator fire it up to make sure it is working well at the beginning of the storm season. Refresh the gas in your gas cans while you are at it as you prepare for a power outage.
If you do not have a generator I suggest investing in one. This can be used to help keep your freezer solid, power electric heat, air conditioners, and recharge devices. I suggest getting a generator you can move yourself to ensure that you can power it up even if your partner is not home.
Light up the house
As funny as it sounds preparing for light in your home before the power drops is a good idea. We make sure the flashlights are charged or have working batteries.
Around the house in the main used rooms, I strung up LED lights that are battery operated. I leave the batteries out so no one uses them to run the batteries down. When the power goes out I toss the batteries in and we have light in vital areas of the home like the bathroom and stairs.
If using candles to light your home opt to use jars around them for added safety. Avoid using candles in unsupervised rooms with children or pets in the home.
Clean the house.
Starting a power outage with a clean house makes it easier to manage and less stressful should the power outage last a few days. When you know the power is going to go out wash the laundry, dishes, and run the vacuum. You will be grateful you took advantage of this opportunity should your power fail. I also like to make sure the kids clear all walkways including ensuring there are no toys in the hallway or on the stairs to prevent accidents.