Last weekend there was a huge storm that came through the New England area. We found ourselves smack in the middle of its path, and just when I was taking a batch of cupcakes out of the oven, everything went dark. I know, at least the cupcakes were okay.
We weren’t sure how long this power outage would last, but we felt prepared since Hurricane Irene had occurred just 2 months earlier. Side note--the topic on all the TV and radio stations before Irene was being prepared. Make sure you have enough of this, steer clear of that, etc. etc. But when last week’s storm came, no one knew it would be this bad, and people weren’t prepared.
We are now on day six without electricity. Let me tell you right now: it gets really old really fast. We have learned a lot about being prepared in this kind of an emergency. Below are some tips if this happens to you. If you have any to contribute, please do: I would love to get even more ideas for the (please don’t say it!) next time this happens.
• Food Storage: I know this has been talked about over and over, but seriously, you don’t want to rely on other sources when there is a power outage.
• Cooking method/supplies: What are you going to cook that food on? Our gas stove has been our best friend. We can boil water, make pancakes, and cook up the things from our fridge that would have gone bad. Gas stove, my friends. But don’t forget to use it outside only; there have been a lot of carbon monoxide poisonings from people using them inside.
• Cash: Credit cards don’t always work when there is no electricity with which to swipe them, believe it or not.
• Gas: Make sure your cars are full of gas—only one gas station in our area had power, and there were hundreds of people trying to fill up. One word--chaos!
• Batteries: Make sure your flashlights are stocked and that you have plenty of extras.
• Blankets: When you don’t have heat and there is snow outside, your home becomes a large freezer. Even though gloves and snow hats weren’t meant to be worn inside, make sure you have them handy!
• Entertainment: Have plenty of treats and games and any other plug-less entertainment. Books, a bag of games, coloring books, etc. The more activities to keep occupied the better.
• Generator: We are too cheap for one, but I hear they do wonders and make power outages a breeze.
We do have some friends that checked into a hotel until the power comes back, but…for those of us who live normal lives, I hope these tips come in handy.
Your turn: What are your best preparedness tips for a power outage?