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10 Things to Do BEFORE a Power Outage

This article, entitled 10 Things to Do BEFORE a Power Outage comes from Amanda Hearn at The Eco-Friendly Family.

After a long, HOT 122 hours, we have electricity once again. We would like to thank everyone that sent thoughts, prayers and well wishes. It means so much and we hope that all others that were caught in this storm are safe and with power now.

I would personally like to thank Verizon for somehow managing to keep service here so that I didn’t go completely insane. My husband thanks you too. I’m sure I would have been unbearable.

I have so many things that I’d like to talk about the past five days, but I thought a little lighthearted fun would help break the ice, so here it goes, in true countdown fashion!

10 Things to Do BEFORE a Power Outage

#10 Practice Saying “I’m sorry sweetie, but you can’t watch cartoons. The TV doesn’t work right now.”

Don’t worry, after about 48 hours they will stop asking. If you need help with this part, see tip #5.

#9 Get Used To the Disheveled Sexy Look

If you think that looking like you just rolled out of a romp in bed is hot, be prepared for a whole lot of sexual tension. Even when I tried to put myself together, it fell flat. For those of you with natural wave or curls – embrace the frizz. You have no idea how much I am looking forward to taking a flat iron to my hair. It’s sad really.

#8 Have Gas in Your Car

My mom always told me never to let my gas tank go below 1/4 tank and this past week drove that message home. Unless you like to wait for eight hours to get gas, that may or may not be available by the time you get there, please – please keep gas in your car and don’t be an Amanda. (PS, I was lucky that I had JUST filled my tank the night before – with the needle hovering over the E.)

#7 Buy a Smartphone

I finally broke down and got a smartphone last November and I have never been so thankful for it as I was this past week. Though I am clearly addicted to social media, the access to local news updates was seriously invaluable – plus the comments doubled for entertainment. When the news story in a rural area has more than 300 comments, you know that you’re about to have an entertaining read.

Also, I was able to feed my need for social media by capturing memories and posting them Instagram. Man I love that app! If you don’t have a Smartphone, see tip #5.

#6 Coffee Coffee Coffee

I need my coffee and I imagine a good number of you do too. Waking up that first morning to a cup of coffee is certainly on my highlight reel. Be sure to buy a kettle and have some Starbucks Via on hand. Their instant is amazing, but if you’re not into instant pick up a coffee press! The press and kettle are great for anytime, but priceless during an outage (or for camping!).

While you’re at it you might want to pick up a grill with a burner for your kettle… oh and food. While dry cereal has its place, it isn’t much to feed the bottomless pit that is my children. A gas or propane grill is priceless. We were able to cook nutritious meals with the help of our grill and have found a new love for it. If you’d like to keep it green you can choose a solar oven.

#5 Have Wine on Hand

A nice hefty supply. No need to explain this one.

Cups and wine glasses are optional.

#4 Have Busy Toys

Legos saved our sanity – seriously. With no power, this was the only thing that really kept their attention. Since buying a load of expensive pieces of plastic isn’t something I promote, I highly suggest trying to pick them up second hand. You’ll save a bundle, keep from buying new plastics and you can just tell your kids that they can use their imagination better without all of those pesky instruction manuals.

#3 Have Ice

Especially if your outage falls in the middle of a country-wide heat wave. Ice was vital to the survival of our food. While ice cubes may not be feasible to keep on hand, I now have a gallon water jug in the freezer to take up space (actually a few now in our deep freeze). Okay, so not just to take up space – a full freezer stays frozen longer (and easier), plus having a nice solid block of ice will help keep things cool for a bit longer. It was more than 48 hours before we were finally able to locate ice and I was nearly in panic mode over our food supply. Thankfully we did find ice and our freezer is in a cool part of our basement. It could have ended in a lot of heartbreaking waste (and much less food to eat for the duration of the outage!)

#2 Bucket Washer

I hand washed diapers. Let’s have a moment of silence for me please….. Thank you <3

Okay.. so thank God they are just pee at this point but it required a lot of washing, soaking, rinsing and squeezing. I wish that I had taken part in Dirty Diaper Laundry’s Flats Challenge, because then I would have had a handy bucket washer to use. I plan to be more prepared in the future (this would be great for clothes too!). One of these bad boys is totally going in my preparedness kit.

Also, having a portable clothesline would be super handy too. These can be used indoors or out and are better than laying clothes all over your car in the hot sun.

Which brings me to point #1

#1 Laundry

Ladies, I hate laundry as much as the next person and while it may seem like a good idea to put it off until you husband is wearing his last undies and kids are naked – this is NOT a good plan. Should a freak storm of nature blow up and knock you without power for more than 24 hours, you will need laundry... unless of course your family is anything like my children, in which case they’ll be perfectly happy prancing around in the nude.

I spent far too many hours hand-washing, wringing and line-drying laundry (3 loads of regular laundry and 1 load of diapers). So much so that my poor hands began to cramp up. (See tip #5)

Have you ever been in an outage? What tips helped you keep your sanity?

For more information and great stories like this one please visit The Eco-Friendly Family

About the Author...
Amanda Hearn
I am a stay-at-home mother of three fantastic children and wife to an awesome husband. They are my biggest inspiration to keep learning and exploring all that natural and healthy living has to offer.