Anyone who lives in rural WA knows just how annoyingly common power outages are. Some are for planned work, some are due to lack of maintenance and others are due to inclement weather, and sometimes it seems like the power goes off for absolutely NO REASON AT ALL!
Here in the Midwest, my town has experienced so many regular power outages it is standard practice to own a generator because the grid is so unreliable- how ridiculous! We pay a pretty hefty price for our power and yet it seems to be not enough to ensure a reliable source! Our town has experienced not only overdrawn planned work but so many outages we are all absolutely sick of our electricity supplier- I can imagine they are sick of us too! Here is how my family have survived the blackouts-
1. Have torches in easily accessible places (lots of them)
I’m not sure how many torches we own exactly…. but I can tell you we keep our local hardware store afloat simply by our torch and battery purchases alone. The kids each have one in their room, plus I have one in my nightstand, on top of the fridge, in the broom cupboard and a heap in the laundry- trust me they come in handy all the time- stock up
2. Know where your spare batteries are, and have a few of each type
No point in having a torch without a battery- and I guarantee you, the torch battery will die just as night falls. If you have a dual power radio (electricity & battery)- and can get radio signal then make sure you have batteries that fit this also- in fact a couple of each type are always handy to have on hand
3. Have a phone power pack
Speaking of batteries, Murphy’s Law states the power will generally go out just before you realize you forgot to charge you phone last night….. I recently discovered phone battery power packs- you pre charge them and plug your phone in when the power situation is dire and like magic it will recharge your phone! Make sure you buy one that suits your phone’s power requirements and remember to recharge it after you’ve used it!!
4. Have some non perishable food in your pantry (that can be cooked with no power & minimum effort)
I keep powdered milk, tinned spaghetti and instant noodles (Mee Gorgeng) in my cupboard just in case I don’t have anything else I can cook solely on my gas stove. The kids have recently during our power outages eaten cereal for dinner, had cold tinned spaghetti on stale bread (that had been destined for toast) and have so far survived- those few bits and pieces sure do come in handy!
5. Have a deck of cards handy
It’s tradition in my house to play card games (go fish for the kids, rummy for the adults) by torch or candle light during a blackout. It’s something special we don’t often get time to do, but when the TV doesn’t work it’s a great excuse to spend some quality time together, and is a great boredom buster.
Do you have any tried and true tips for surviving a power cut with your sanity intact?