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What to Do During a Power Outage

Updated on January 24, 2016
Rosie writes profile image

Rosie is a library media specialist. An avid reader and life-long learner, Rosie enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise in many areas.

Losing Power

Four days ago we had that magical thing called electricity. Since then we've learned how to live somewhat comfortably without it. Here are some tips should you ever lose the magic (and refuse, like me, to get the dreaded generator; I consider them to be obnoxiously loud and according to the number of accidents caused by them, somewhat dangerous).

Thousands of people lost power because of fallen trees on power lines.
Thousands of people lost power because of fallen trees on power lines.

Don't assume someone has already reported your power outage. Make the call yourself.

Useful Tips

  • Use a gas grill burner to heat water and food items.
  • Place coffee in filter in coffee maker as usual, then pour hot water slowly over it into the carafe. You are manually doing what the coffee maker does. It tastes just as good.
  • Tie a flashlight to the dining room light above your dinner table and play board games in the evening.
  • Grill out nightly for dinner and cook items, such as hamburger, first that will spoil fastest. Invite the neighbors over or send them the excess food.
  • Keep food items in large cooler and replenish ice each day.
  • Keep radio ready with batteries so you can still enjoy some music when the silence is too much to bear.
  • Give each family member a small LED flashlight to keep on them so that they can see when walking through the dark house.
  • Charge cell phones in car when driving anywhere.
  • Buy a ready-made hot roasted chicken for dinner, and make a tossed ceasar salad.
  • Clean out the refrigerator. It will be nice to have a clean refrigerator to restock when the power returns.
  • Visit Panera with your computer for internet access. Try their toasted "Everything" bagel or their 4 cheese souffle - so delicious!
  • Go to the local library to use their computers, or to check out a few good books.
  • Keep the upstairs windows open to let cool air in.
  • Don't assume someone has already reported your power outage. Make the call yourself.

What we look forward to when the magic returns...

  • Digital clocks
  • Microwave
  • Telephone service
  • Charging cell phones in the house
  • Doing the laundry
  • Cooking with the toaster oven, stove-top, and oven
  • Dishwasher
  • Alarm clock
  • Of course, the computer
  • All game systems
  • Television
  • Automatic coffee
  • Hair dryer and curling irons
  • Air conditioning and fans
  • LIGHT!!!


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    • mallen1227 profile image


      6 years ago

      Good tips. We live out in the middle of nowhere and we do have a generator. It is very loud and expensive with the price of gas. We've only used it two times in the last four or five years for power outages that lasted a day or more. We put the generator out in the unattached garage and run an extension cord. Thanks for the tips.

    • Rosie writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Rosie writes 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      Yes, you are right. Our neighborhood is off the beaten path, and one of the last to regain power when it is lost. Your tip about the freezer is something we just learned in the past couple of days from talking to others - it is a very good one.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      We have not yet had a tropical storm muchless hurricane in our part of Texas this year despite the fact that we badly need rain. However...we have been there...the no power part from past hurricanes and storms. Your tips are good ones. Obviously all of your area must not have suffered the power outage since you mentioned going to Panera, buying roasted chickens, etc. It is so much harder when ALL power is out in a wide area.

      Here is another tip: In the summertime we work our chest freezer down and fill plastic milk cartons with water to fill the bottom. A freezer runs more efficiently when more full than empty and in the case of power outages, the rock solid ice helps to keep things frozen longer.


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