This is one of the most unpleasant experiences we can face: we are so used to having electricity in our lives that when the power goes out we take some time to get used to it.
We even make silly things like trying to light something when going to a different room of the house. We have all been there, and there’s no shame in that.
Even the well-prepared ones — say the ones living in areas with hurricanes — make simple mistakes when preparing for that kind of events. You went through your list and bought all the food and supplies you needed, but you missed out on the most straightforward power outage tips and tricks.
We want to make sure that you are fully prepared and you know how to deal with a power outage. So here’s a list of 10 things you should never do when the power goes out.
#1 – Keep Up With The Times: Don’t Use Candles
Thankfully, this is not 1830. But candles go way back. They were made by the Romans beginning about 500 BC. They are part of our historical heritage, and sure they look pretty as a decoration item. They are not, however, good for you in cases of a power outage.
Fortunately, technology created a lot of excellent and reliable alternatives to candles. There are portable lights for power outage that will last for a long time. The only thing you have to do is to search for the best emergency light for emergencies.
#2 – Don’t Use All Your Hot Water
In recent years, for environmental reasons, a lot of people switched from gas heating solutions to electric. That is all fun and games until the power goes out. Can you use water when the power goes out? Only if authorities say so.
Make sure you store, however, some water in the days before. Can you enjoy a shower when the power is out? You also can, but go easy on the usage of hot water.
Especially, as we said before if your plumbing relies on electricity. Remember that the heater water tank only holds some hot water. So the plan is for you to take even shorter showers.
#3 – Unplug Everything – Well, Almost Everything
There’s a significant risk you are taking if you don’t do this step: when the electricity comes back on, you can get an unpleasant surprise: fried electronics. You see, the power surge can be strong and overload the circuits of your house.
So take note: bigger power users like televisions, computers and other big appliances must be switched off. The exception? Leave one small light plugged in. Why? Because it will tell you when the power goes back on.
#4 – Don’t Open Your Fridge Unnecessarily
It might sound silly, but this is one of the most common mistakes people make when there is a power outage. Fridges are amazing machines: did you know food can be safe there for at least 4 hours after a power outage? What can damage that ability?
Someone opening and closing the fridge nonstop. Once you open the fridge, you let cold air out, and that temperature will not be reached until the power comes back on. So go easy on your fridge.
#5 – Don’t Grill Indoors Or You Might Get Grilled
We guarantee it will be tempting: if your heating is electric, you will feel cold. And what combines perfectly with freezing weather? Grilled comfort food. But don’t let this feeling get the best over you — it’s super unsafe to grill at home. Gas and charcoal grill release smoke that, if not ventilated properly, can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. You’ll be putting the lives of your family at stake… for a steak.
#6 – Don’t Go Near Water Outside
You have no news from TV, and you haven’t heard from your power company, so you decide to go for a walk. Power usually goes out during storms, and what happens then? Branches are down, and power lines can be hidden in the middle.
And if that touches the water with you on it? Well, you guessed it. The important thing is to resist the urge to go out exploring things — let the working crews clean the surrounding areas first.
#7 – Let Your Phone Go Out Of Battery
One of the first things that come to mind on the list of “what to do when the power goes out” is definitely grabbing our cellphones. Let’s face it: there’s no electricity — hence, no TV. What can you use to distract yourself? Your cellphone!
You can play on it; you can try to contact your relatives to make sure that everything is fine. It’s a killing time hobby when there’s no electricity, so imagine when you don’t have it. The fact is that the cellphone is crucial if you need to make an urgent call.
Make sure you save your battery by turning off all apps you are not using and minimize the light. Boardgame night under a good flashlight sounds way better.
#8 – Not Have A Full Freezer
It might sound like a mismatch, but it’s solid advice, and we will explain to you why. If your freezer is full, the food there will stay good for at least 48 hours. That number, however, drops to 24 hours if it’s not full. Wondering why?
It’s science. They all work together as ice packs, protecting all the content of the freeze. Even if you don’t have it full, in the days before the event, protect it by adding water bottles and letting them freeze. It’s like a freezer that won’t consume any energy.
#9 – Assume Everyone Is In The Same Situation
Just because your power went out, doesn’t mean your neighbors are in the same position. First, check your circuit breaker. Only if everything is okay with it, you should ask around the neighborhood if everyone is in the same situation. Like a good neighbor.
#10 – Forget About Your Comfort
The most often overlooked thing of this list. You are in for a time without light; so don’t forget to pamper yourself. Sometimes the simplest things are the best!