The 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!
This post contains sponsored content, all opinions are my own.