Lighting: This is the one thing people normally associate with power outages. You are sitting at home and you are cast into darkness. The TV silences. As a child, during summer thunder storms that would knock out power I was excited. I would run to get the flashlights and candles, it was just like indoor camping! Today I am less excited about the power going out, but I do love listening to the rain pelt against the windows!
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During the summer long days would allow you to still have light for reading or board games until close to bedtime. However other parts of the year (or the globe), a power outage can mean many hours of darkness before sleeping.
As you may never know how long the power will be out, do you have a plan to provide light in your home or learn to do without?
This article is number 5 in our power outage series, if you want to read the others:
- 5 Steps to Evaluating Water Security during a Power Outage
- 8 Steps to Evaluating Food Preparedness for Power Outages
- 7 Steps for Maintaining Proper Sanitation during Power Outage
- 7 Steps for Heating Your Home During a Power Outage
Lights without Power
- Insulate your home. Even before the power goes out, you can take steps today to make your home more resilient to power outages. Insulating your home will prevent heat loss as well as keep it cooler in summer time. Placing plastic over the windows can reduce drafts and create an air barrier between the outside world and your home. I understand this plastic method is more of a northern US thing, and not often seen further south so here is a link to the type of plastic I am talking about, however any large sheets of plastic will do.
- Prevent further heat loss. The power just went out in the middle of winter, and you have no idea when it will come back on. First step is to reduce further heat loss. Cover windows with blankets, plug the heat vents of forced hot air systems. Close curtains and shut internal doors between rooms. It may be necessary for all family members to join in one room and focus only on keeping that one room warm. If you haven't added plastic over the windows, now may be a time to consider it.
- Determine additional heat source. Do you have another means for adding heat? Do you have a wood fireplace that is mostly decorative but could be used for extra heat if needed? Consider investing in a propane space heater like this one, you would also need to stock on propane tanks if you decided to use this heating method. With a space heater, focus on heating the smallest room only and keeping it well insulated.
- Add layers. Just as your insulated your windows, insulate your body. It should be obvious to most, but wear hats and scarves to capture the heat you are creating. Watch for extremities they can get cold fast.
- Stock up on warm things. Nothing warms like the soul and body quite like a hot cup of chicken soup. While a propane cook stove won't heat the room it can heat up water for tea, hot chocolate or soup. See my article on cooking during power outages:8 Steps to Evaluating Food Preparedness for Power Outages. I recommend this butane stove for indoor use, and don't forget to stock up on butane canisters as well. In addition, consider adding chemical hand warmers to your supplies to slip into cold pockets or inside socks.
- Cuddle with your family. Sleeping together can help share body heat and protect smaller humans and the elderly who may not create enough heat themselves.
- Avoid drinking cold water. Avoid drinking cold water as this will require your body to heat it back up to your normal temperature, making your body work harder than it needs to.
Steps To Take Today
- Evaluate you home for proper insulation and heating options.
- Invest in a cook stove and propane space heater.
- Stock up on warm supplies like hand warmers, hat and scarves.
Keeping warm during a power outage can seem like a daunting and perpetual task. However understanding your heating options will put you way ahead of your neighbors. Investing in supplies today can give you peace of mind to weather out the next major snowstorm. We hope your enjoyed this article and stay tune for the next article in our power outage series available on July 22, 2017.
Are you ready to keep warm during a power outage? What is your plan? Thanks for reading!
While waiting for our next power outage article, check out: 4 Steps to Building a 72hr Bag