How to Make a Power Outage Safer — and More Fun — for Your Family

by Nindo Mom on August 29, 2011

We all know how inconvenient even short power outages can be for our family–even an hour or two without electricity can seem pretty scary for kids and adults, alike. Most of us depend on electricity for so many things in our day-to-day lives that it can be more than a little disconcerting to be without it.

There are, however, a few items that can help us endure the time before the power company gets the lights back on–and a few things we can do to help fill our time in a way that’s enjoyable.

Items to Have on Hand for a Power Outage:

  • at least one high output flashlight on hand for each member of the family.
  • a set or two of fresh batters for each flashlight. (Freshly charged rechargeable batteries can potentially save you a tremendous amount of money.)
  • e battery-powered lanterns for each room in the house where your family will be going.Can you picture yourself or your kids trying to use the bathroom while keeping hold of a flashlight? This is one purpose for which an electric lantern is so awesome. Much safer than candles that can tip over and cause fires, a battery powered lantern can be positioned to sit right on the counter, a table, or a nightstand–and easily and safely moved to where it’s most needed.On a whim, I picked up my two lanterns at a local hardware store shortly before a recent thunderstorm, and they turned out to be a godsend. But since then, I’ve seen a much better variety of battery-powered lanterns–from Coleman family-sized battery-powered lanterns that run for up to 18 hours on high to the Rayovac SE3DLN Sportsman Xtreme battery-powered LED lanterns that operates for up to 72 hours on high. There are also aset of 3 Trademark Emergency battery-powered lanterns if you’re looking for more of an economy set.
  • a supply of bottled water, as well as non-perishable food that can be consumed without cooking. Fresh fruits can also be a delicious and healthy addition if they’re eaten within a couple of days
  • a first aid kit–either put together piece-by-piece or one purchased as a ready-made kit. (You can find a selection of pre-made first-aid kits on Amazon, as well as at retail stores like Target and Walmart. (It’s usually a lot easier, in my experience, to find a better selection of kits online.)

Fun Things to Do During a Power Outage:

  • Arrange a “camp out” for the whole family in the living room.You can set up a small tent, if you have one–or you can play the trick that me and my brothers used to use as kids where we’d arrange the dining room chairs near each other and lay several lightweight bed sheets across the top, leaving a “door” for entering and exiting. Making the power outage into a game, of sorts, for the kids can make the experience much less scary–and even fun.
  • Sitting in a circle, have each family take turns telling a story. A fun alternative: have each person tell 2 minutes of a story, then have the next person pick up where the first left off. This activity is fun, builds relationships, and helps develop creativity
  • If it’s safe outside–in other words, if you aren’t in the middle of a thunderstorm or hurricane–an impromptu trip to the movie theater, mall, or other area in town that still has power can provide a few hours of fun and entertainment. Another option, assuming it’s safe outdoors and there’s daylight, is to take a walk through the neighborhood.

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