Tips For Coping With A Power Cut

Power-Cut-FunThe terrible weather and flooding in the south of England has made me so grateful for living in a flood free zone. I’m on a steep hill, which has its disadvantages but flooding should never be one of them! I guess the worse I’ve had to deal with has been power cuts. These are generally the result of strong winds or heavy snow bringing down lines but sometimes they occur with no obvious cause. Often they’re fairly short lived but we had one recently which lasted quite a few hours. It’s the longest one we’ve had and I’m so glad I’d listened to my dad about being prepared for such things and I had supplies on standby to get us through it unscathed!

The vast majority of households rely heavily on electricity to power their houses and power loss can be really unpleasant and inconvenient. Lack of light, heating and cooking can be a bit of a nightmare if it lasts more than half an hour or so especially if you’ve got young children!

So what preparations should you think about doing to cope in the event of a power cut?

  • SAFETY FIRST!  Think about preparing family members with a do’s and don’ts list. Power cuts generally occur without warning and being plunged into darkness can be really scary especially for the vulnerable like young children. My children were upstairs playing Lego in their bedroom when our long power cut occurred. Luckily they remembered the prep talks we’ve had in the past and stayed put. I’ve always told them to stay still and call out to me so I know exactly where they are and then I can come to them. You don’t want children trying to negotiate stairs on their own in the dark!
  • As a year hasn’t gone by without a power cut or two I have a stash of torches ready just in case. We’ve got a three-story house so I make sure that I have some source of light available on each floor. I keep one torch and new batteries in each storage place. I also have a few extra push button torches available too. You can often pick up cheap packs of two from the pound store. Hand torches are great for helping you move around the house but I love the push button lights for when we’ve set up camp in a room together. The children can have one each and they don’t dazzle and the rest I dot around the room. It’s actually quite cosy looking and they help to get rid of my youngest’s fears. For safety I would always try to avoid using candles if I can and a wind up torch although a bit of a hassle is always a good standby.
  • Once everyone is gathered together calm and safe it’s advisable to turn off any electrical appliances that were being used when the power failed, especially if they’re something that gives off heat like a hairdryer or electric fire, you don’t want to risk a fire should the power return and you forget that they’re on!
  • If it’s cold and your heating has been knocked out by the power cut, keeping people warm is a priority; the young, old  and ill can lose heat quickly. Additional thin layers are best and I always have a few blankets on standby too.
  •  Now you’re all safe and snug you need to keep away the boredom. My children thoroughly enjoy snuggling up under blankets and making little camps. We love den building so much that we wrote a post about a while ago and they adore playing with torch lights in the dark too. This keeps mine busy for a while but if the power cut is lengthy then we like to play family board games and read stories aloud. Another of our favourite activities is to make up our own stories taking turns to say a sentence or two. You never know which direction the story is going to go and the results can be silly and fun! (It’s a great game for long car journeys too.) We always have drawing things on hand in our house too and drawing in torchlight can be interesting. We’ve even enjoyed using the torches to make shadows with our hands on the paper and have then drawn around their silhouettes.
  • Keeping hunger at bay. I’m all for a healthy diet but I think a time like this, when I can’t cook, is the perfect excuse for cracking open the biscuits!

These simple tips should get you through a power cut without too much stress even if it lasts a few hours. I have to say I quite enjoy the ‘back to basics’ that it forces on us for a while and it can be a great time to really connect as a family without the distractions of the electronic gadgets that our modern lives are so full of. It’s a bit like camping but inside…and in the dark!

So make sure you’re prepared for coping with power cuts and while you’re thinking about your electricity supply perhaps you’d like to shop around for better electricity prices too?  I really like the idea of opting for a greener energy plan to reduce my carbon footprint and of course saving a bit of money is always welcome!

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  1. Some great tips here, thanks for sharing. Some of the scenes of the news this last week have been quite shocking for the impact the UK weather us having. I too am very thankful I live in a flood free area.

  2. Great tips! We are lucky not to have had many power cuts, I really feel for those in the more flooded areas

  3. Some really great tips there Emma, thank you so much for sharing. We’re up a hill too thankfully although the river wey has burst its banks again. So sad.

  4. I have a box with torches, candles, batteries and emergency Haribo ‘just incase’. I hope the power holds out tonight. This prolonged period of bad weather is draining and I can’t imagine what it must be like for those on the front line of flooding and coastal storms.

  5. Great tips – we really need to get more prepared!

  6. I have really fond memories of power cuts when I was younger and my parents reading to us by candle light! which reminds me..we need to get prepared for when we have one with Wilf! x

  7. Great tips there – need them in this awful weather. So far we have been lucky – i am not a fan of the dark!

  8. I was convinced we were going to lose the power here today. Wild Wednesday indeed! Some good tips, thank you!

  9. Some great tips, thank you. They are very time appropriate with the terrible weather we are currently enduring!

  10. We keep torches everywhere, “just in case”.

  11. Maxi covered this atr Cubs last night!

  12. These are excellent and practical tips. Let us just hope we all see some sunshine soon. x

  13. I am finding the weather conditions in some places very unsettling at the moment. These are some great tips.

  14. Great tips. We bought torches when the storm that never happened was forecast and I’m glad we did. There’s now one in every room, just in case.

  15. Some fantastic tips – it probably seems weird but at 28 I am scared of the dark – I don’t mind at night because I can switch a light on but darkness I couldn’t escape such as a power cut at night just makes me scared! x

  16. Great tips – we had a power cut yesterday but thankfully it didn’t last long!

  17. Great tips, we are totally unprepared for such an eventuality. I have no idea where the torch is for a start!

  18. Great tips – thank you for sharing. We’re lucky not to live in a flood zone, and so far *touch wood* haven’t been affected by the storms…need to definitely sort out torches though, as we can never find the one we have in a power cut and have to root around for matches to light a candle -_-

  19. always good to have some supplies on standby for this sort of situation!

  20. Great tips, we have the torches you don’t need batteries for, squeeze a bit that sticks out and it powers the torch! great in emergencies

  21. Fantastic tips! A lot of people will find this very useful,considering what’s been on the news lately.x

  22. Great tips! I dread losing power in our house. Mainly because the baby monitor wouldn’t work!

  23. I hate power cuts… the worst part for me is that all appliances have their clocks reset… and I never know how to put correct time on them later on :-(

  24. Great tips here. It is really essential that we have our emergency box when power cut strikes.

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