Fun Stuff You Can Do While the Electric is Out

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No Electricity!!!

Have you ever had to deal with a power outage that lasted more than a few hours? Well, my friend, then you can understand my pain. I knew in advance the electric would be off at my apartment building for a few hours for maintenance. That is no big deal. However, after 8 hours with no electricity and no immediate end in sight, one starts to lose her mind. That is where I am in life right now. That is also why my butt went to my office, so I could enjoy the comforts of exciting things like lights and the internet. Ohhhh... ahhhh!

Before I completely lost my mind and opted to come to work rather than sit around and watch the candles flicker, I was forced to come up with some clever ideas to get through the day. After all, it is a Saturday... a Saturday should be full of joy and amusements. Here are some fun things you can do if you find out you are going to be without power for a while.

No Power? Let's Keep Busy Anyway!

  • You can take the time to rediscover all those forgotten half-used candles you keep under your sink just for emergencies.
  • Your family can break out all the board games that are usually ignored while people play video games. Try playing Monopoly for real money this time just to make things more exciting.
  • Take some time to appreciate how difficult life must have been for the early settlers when electricity did not exist. Take some time to remember Amish people still live that way. Gasp!
  • See if you can warm up a bagel using several Yankee Candles.
  • Sit around and contemplate why you did not bother to charge your portable DVD player more before the power outage occured.
  • Reach into a dark closet and see what fun stuff you can pull out. I'll bet you can find items you forgot existed. Just look out for spiders!
  • Stare at your refrigerator longingly and periodically say phrases like, "I hope all my food doesn't go bad."
  • Take a trip to Target and hope the electricity is on when you return. When it isn't, burst into loud sobs and eat the lame Lunchable you bought in case you couldn't warm up a real lunch.
  • Start thinking about soup a lot. For some reason, soup just seems like a way better idea when there is no possible way to prepare it.
  • Read a book!
  • Reorganize your entire livingroom... just don't bother vacuuming yet.
  • While writing a hub and making a snide comment about not vacuuming, remember you have a rechargeable hand vacuum plugged in somewhere in your apartment and get really excited about the prospect of having clean floors after all. OK... that one is highly personal and probably applies to no one else but me.
  • Play a fun game called, "Let's try to remember what is in the kitchen cabinet that is still edible and doesn't need to be hot to eat." Chances are, the answer is granola bars!
  • I have just two words for you: shadow puppets!
  • Start creating a beautiful work of art or write a great new novel using a typewriter... until it is 7 o'clock or later. Then you will either need a candle or a wild imagination.
  • Go fly a kite!
  • Take lots and lots of naps. You can pretend you are a small child without a care in world.
  • Break out your iPod or Kindle Fire or anything else along those lines. Start dancing around your home while listening to music until the battery dies. Leave the curtains wide open and give the neighbors something to talk about. If they don't have power either, you are generously providing them with much needed entertainment.
  • If your neighbors do have power, you should try to make friends with them. Offer them some tasty treats from your fridge that are about to go bad anyway.
  • Discover just how many batteries it takes to keep all your flashlights working for hours.
  • Give up and go to work. You may as well achieve something.

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Comments 31 comments

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

Yes, we had a power outage when Hurricane Ivan came through, and it lasted for three days!!! It was funny, as the whole family seemed to have no choice but to gather around the table and play board games - oh my, no t.v.!!! We actually talked more and it turned out to be a positive experience, except when we had to throw out all the food in the fridge and then on the third day, the humidity starting coming back. Great ideas here. In His Love, Faith Reaper


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Thanks so much for the comment! I really would not have been so angry if it weren't for the fact the power outage was planned and it was supposed to take about 5 - 7 hours. I would not have bought food last night if I'd known it would turn into 9 or more hours. I am about to leave work right now and I sure hope I go home and find power. :-)


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

I feel your pain! Our power company goes out all the time. Doesn't matter if you are right in the middle of writing a Hub (I've had that happen). We have been without power for several days when a hurricane comes through and knocks our lines down. Thankfully, a neighbor has a gas stove.

I voted this Hub, UP and will share.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

I think you missed one but maybe that comes under take lots and lots of naps. lol

Actually I was without power in a blizzard even with piles of blankets on was too cold to nap! So terrible. People really should prepare. Great hub! ^


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Mary615 - That really stinks. I could not live in a place if the electricity went out all the time. I guess you always have to be prepared with flashlights, batteries, and candles. How annoying! Thank you for checking out my hub.

Jackie Lynnley - Being without power during a blizzard is the worst. You can't even have hot chocolate! At least today was a warm fall day. And yeah, it's hard to nap when you're too cold. Thanks for the comment!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

We lost power for seven days last year in a snow storm; believe me, we got very creative, and after day five we got very bitchy! LOL

Great hub Jeannie!


lambservant profile image

lambservant 4 years ago from Pacific Northwest

In this are of the country many people have woodstoves which are excellent for cooking. Many have generators, although I've never had that kind of money. One year we had a bad ice storm. We livied in a heavily wooded area and the power was out 8 days. We couldn't flush the toilet or use our water because we were on a well which used and electric pump. My son's poor girlfriend from southern california. She was horrified. They day the power came back on she rushed to the bathroom to flush.


Janine Huldie profile image

Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

Jeannie, we lost power over night in NY area back a few years ago (pretty much the whole state did. It was August and had just starting dating my now husband. We did exactly what you mentioned about playing board games and then card games too well into the night. Loved your list though and some other great ideas too. Have voted up and shared all over too!!


Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana

Lots of great ideas here! This is a good reminder to check out flashlights, batteries and candle supply:) Thankfully we have not had a long power outage here in a long time.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

One of the best purchases I have found for emergencies are the plastic battery-operated lights that can be placed on walls or under cabinets. The batteries last a long time. All you have to do is "touch" the light and it generates enough lite for a pretty good size area. I have one in every room and hallway. Thanks for the interesting and fun hub.


Shaddie profile image

Shaddie 4 years ago from Washington state

Oh my gosh. Yeah, when the lights go out it's pretty fun for about a little while, but I get really stressed out, for different reasons than might be expected... It's my reptiles that suffer anytime the lights go off for extended periods. About every year the power goes out for a few hours to a few days (we live in the boonies) and it is horrible!!!!!


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

We all take for granted our electricity, water and other conveniences in life. However it is good to have this happen once in a great while to appreciate all we have. Great hub! Voted UP.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Jeannie...no one comes up with "ideas" like you! As always, you're a damned life-saver. I have no idea how we would go forward in life without you, jeannie......Of course, I've been without elec...numerous times. The longest I could tolerate, without going stark-raving mad, was 2 hours.....after that, I got in my car and went to visit my grandchildren 15 miles away....and I wouldn't leave until it was time for bed. If the elec was till out....I wouldn't care!.....UP+++


Weekend Reader profile image

Weekend Reader 4 years ago

Then there are the homes that are on well water with, wait for it, an electric pump. The system holds no more than two flushes' worth of water. Ponder the consequences ...

Soup really does sound better when you cannot heat it, so I own a one-burner Coleman propane stove. No soup for me!


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

billybuc - Wow... days! By day five you guys starting getting bitchy? I started getting bitchy at hour five. Hahaha. I am so happy to have my power back! Thanks for the comment.

lambservant - A woodstove and a generator sounds nice. I can't have those things in an apartment, but I wish I could get a mini-grill. I don't have a balcony, but maybe I will try it anyway. Just having hot coffee this morning was awesome! Thanks for the comment!

Janine Huldie - Thanks so much for the votes and for sharing! Sometimes a power outage is the only time you can get others to play board games. :-)

Kris Heeter - I always have a ton of Yankee Candles, but I do need more batteries for the flashlights. I gave up and started burning candles in the bathroom instead. After all, what if there were spiders and I could not see them? :-) Thanks for the comment.

vocalcoach - Thanks for the idea. I am going to go purchase those lights the next time I go out. At least it was only a little dark when the lights finally came back on, but I should have them for the future.


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Shaddie - I never thought about that before, but it is true, the reptiles need their electric. My hamster did OK yesterday with the power outage. At least it was warm enough that I did not need to worry about a lack of heat. Thanks for the comment!

carol7777 - I know exactly what you mean. I was so happy to have hot coffee, hot water, and a warm bagel this morning. I appreciated it so much more than ever before. Thanks for the vote up!

fpherj48 - I am happy you enjoyed the hub so much. Yeah, I come up with lots of ideas when the electric is out. I just need to get some type of stove or grill that works without electricity. I would have lasted much longer than I did yesterday if I at least had that. Thanks for the vote up!

Weekend Reader - For some reason, I was thinking the toilets did not flush in this building when the electric went out. It must stop when the electric is completely out rather than when the electric is turned off by the workers for maintenance. I don't know. I am confused. All I know is I had no need for all the buckets of water I filled up yesterday. Ice for the fridge would have been a better idea. Thanks for the comment!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

That's tough when the lights go out like that....great ideas here. Thanks for sharing the lemonade with us when you were handed the lemons. :) Rated up/U/I/F


jmartin1344 profile image

jmartin1344 4 years ago from Royal Oak, Michigan

My power always seems to go out the day after I go to the grocery and stock my fridge!! I did actually meet my neighbors last time it happened though!

Nice hub!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

What a great way to start my day - loved this!

Shadow puppets - so funny!

Voted up


rcrumple profile image

rcrumple 4 years ago from Kentucky

In hurricanes and ice storms, electricity tends to become scarce. Oil lamps work well in supplying just enough light to allow you to read or write until you get a headache. Then you can sleep. Doing this repeatedly through a seven day stretch can allow for much reading and writing to be accomplished, and and addiction to Advil to start. Think I'm getting a headache...... Great fun hub!


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Denise Handlon - Thanks for the vote up! Yes, I did feel like I had lemons on Saturday. Hehe.

jmartin1344 - Yes, I had just stocked my fridge since the electric was only supposed to be out a few hours as opposed to the 9 hours it was actually out. I am eating everything anyway. I am just hoping for the best. Thanks for the comment!

Movie Master - Thanks so much. Yeah, those shadow puppets can be great with flashlights.

rcrumple - I definitely need to invest in some type of lamp that does not require electricity. I am not sure I could survive a 7 day stretch without the power. I was going crazy by the end of the day. Thanks for checking out my hub!


Mike Robbers profile image

Mike Robbers 4 years ago from London

Looking forward now for the electric to go out :)

Amazing & really funny options, especially "the monopoly with real money" one..

thanks for sharing , voted up!


Johnjfernando profile image

Johnjfernando 4 years ago

I remember when we had this 7 day blackout and living in an apartment at had its risk of break ins and mugging. The think I loved the most though was that we came together as a community and looked for each other and sort of lived together like a huge family. Each day, being a kid, I always had someone new to play with.


BeyondGS profile image

BeyondGS 4 years ago from Ohio

Good tips, thankfully my power hasn't gone out in a while. Still if it happens I'll remember this list (of course look it up from my phone)Good hub!


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Mike Robbers - Oh no, there is no need to look forward to the electricity going out, trust me. It is cool for about 1 hour, then the appeal ends. Thanks for sharing and the vote up!

Johnjfernando - That is so true. People do come together as a community when something like that happens. I remember being snowed in with neighbors once and it was almost fun. Hehe. Thanks for the comment!

BeyondGS - Yes, that is true. You won't be reading this on the computer if the electric goes out. Thanks so much for checking out my hub!


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

Oh yes, one of the fun things about living in apartment buildings! At least you were told ahead of time so that's a good thing.... I have to admit, sometimes it's fun with the electricity goes out. It's just when it's in the middle of the night and I need my fan to sleep that it's irritating. I don't know how those people who lost power for all those days could do it.. I know it was hard but probably a bonding experience for everyone in the house too. I will keep this in mind for next time the electricity goes out for sure :) Great hub, as always!


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

I don't know how anyone survives when the electricity goes out for days. I can't stand being with the TV. I know that is sad, but it is a fact. Thanks so much for the comment!


crissytsu profile image

crissytsu 4 years ago from Texas

I was in the middle of cooking dinner at home alone when a storm blew the transformer...too bad I didn't read this hub before then because maybe then I wouldn't have pulled all my hair out by the 6th hour. I took the time to read a stack of magazines that had piled up until my flashlight went dead.


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

I was forced to go through newspapers and actually read them, so I know what you mean. It was a great day for clipping coupons, too. :-) Thanks for the comment!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

So funny! lol! I love the sense of humor, and yes I know what you mean about the electricity going off. obviously not for the same reason as you, but yes I do know what you mean about the fridge, and the spiders! lol! hope you are okay, nell


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Thanks so much, Nell. I am hoping my electric does not go out, but it might just happen. So far, we are getting lots of rain and lots of wind. Thanks for checking out my hub!

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    Jeannie InABottle (Jeannieinabottle)1,161 Followers
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    Jeannie has been writing for HubPages for over 5 years. She covers a wide variety of topics - anything from hamsters to office work.



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