Getting Through a Power Outage

by blackspanielgallery

Power outages are inconvenient, and can last for some time, depending on the cause. There are some things you can do to make life easier.

Let’s be realistic, sooner or later the power will go out. It might be from a storm, or from over usage of the grid. It might affect you, a small cluster of people, or a large number of people. The power problem might be easily resolved, or it might be a complex situation. Regardless of what the cause of the power outage one thing is certain, it will be inconvenient. In some cases, such as for those with a medical problem that require power for their equipment, it might be life threatening. And, there may be life threatening conditions that require power to be restored in an order in which you are served much later than you like. So, rely on yourself and get through it with your own resource until your power is restored.

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Extreme Cases

After a storm, such as an ice storm or a hurricane, the transmission lines may be down.  It takes time to build a pole line.  First, the streets need to be cleared of trees in order for the power company to get to the locations requiring new poles.  Then, the wires need to be attached.  If there are miles of work to be done before the power to your location can be restored it could take a week or longer.


The Refrigerator

Your first concern is the refrigerator.  If the outage is to last a long time, you will need to eat, and if the food in your refrigerator goes bad you may have problems getting to a store.  In severe cases restaurants cannot operate, so going out is not an alternative.  But, the refrigerator takes power.


You could use a generator, or a battery.  I have a large battery that should get me through the night, then can be recharged by isolating my solar power from the power grid, a safety requirement, and using my solar power to recharge my battery while the sun is up, and while I am not running the battery down because it is connected to my power source.  You can buy a battery, and a small, portable solar panel, and at least get some recharging of your battery.  Look at the life of the battery for continuous usage, and get two if you need to.  These special batteries convert direct current to alternating current.




Inexpensive LED lights can use very little power, and can be used for a long time without recharging the batteries.  Have several LED lights handy, and place one in the room where the family will be gathered, and another one in a bathroom.  Yes, they are inexpensive enough to allow you to buy even more than two.  Just keep them charged.  The one I have has a rechargeable battery.  Unfortunately, my large battery is not recommended for any item with its own batteries.


Air Circulation

Heat and humidity often occur in a closed up house, so buy one or more small battery operated fans.  They can get air circulating.  No, they will not feel like an air conditioner, but the can move some air around.


Waking Up for Work

If it is a localized power outage, and your place of employment is operating, you need a battery operated alarm clock.  If you are like most people you can use your cell phone or iPad.  This device can be recharged in your car if necessary, as can some other small batteries.  

Battery Operated Radios and Television Sets

A battery operated radio can keep you tuned into news from the outside world, and this is important.  But, a small battery operated television can be used for entertainment.  I recommend having one.

Food Preparation

Cooking will be outdoors.  I suggest a grill or hibachi, and keep coals or cans of gas stored safely where you can get them.  However, do not become a victim of being unable to open a can.  Keep a small hand operated can opener where you can easily find it.  And do have some way to light the fire, such as a match or a lighter.



The Best Case

It could be a short term outage.  In such cases you would like the LED lights, the small fan, and the small television.  Fine, you could do without the television if the budget is tight.


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Updated: 10/26/2019, blackspanielgallery
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frankbeswick on 04/27/2016

Last night I was concerned that the chilly weather might bring frost upon my tender plants in the greenhouse, where I have no electricity. Solution: late in the evening I went and lit a candle.I stood it on a brick and let it burn all night. The greenhouse retains the heat until the next day. A single candle whose heat is kept in a confined space will take the chill off the air. You can do the same with a room in a house.

frankbeswick on 04/06/2016

We cook with a gas hob, but an electric oven and microwave, but db20747 has given me an idea for a real emergency when all power systems fail. The metal of my multi-fuel burner gets hot, I could cook on that. In a sense that would be going back to childhood, for until I was five we dwelt in a house with a hob and an oven next to an open fire, which provided the heat. How I loved that old range fire!

BrendaReeves on 04/06/2016

We had a power outage about 8 years ago caused by an ice storm. Our power was out for a week. It was 30 degrees in the house.

blackspanielgallery on 03/03/2016


blackspanielgallery on 01/04/2016

I believe they occur anywhere.

sandyspider on 01/04/2016

Good article on getting through a power outage. We have been through a few of these.

blackspanielgallery on 12/04/2015

They make windmill kits as toys. I have another Wizzle on them. Yes, it is a start.

Tolovaj on 12/04/2015

I have just overheard a conversation between two youngsters. If I heard right, one of them installed a small windmill on balcony. Just enough to recharge his tablet, but it's definitely a start!

blackspanielgallery on 09/08/2015

People here are also unprepared. We have hurricanes and the idea the government will do whatever is needed is much too commonplace.

frankbeswick on 09/08/2015

What concerns me is that many people have lost the mindset to be self -reliant in emergency. We do have power outages in the UK, but mainly when winter storms bring down power lines, but so many people have no preparation at all. To be prepared people need a variety of power sources and some emergency back up, such as torches and candles. I find that having a multifuel burner is useful as a heat source, as it does not rely on national power distribution systems. You need the ability to heat at least one room in emergency. This should be the living room. A battery powered radio should keep you abreast of important news.

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