I thought I'd share some lessons I learned from my nearly 24 hours without power:
- Have more flashlights than you think you'll need. We had four. One was too dim to be worthwhile, the brightest one died after an hour of use, and then we were left with one to use and one to keep as backup in case the one we were using died too. Not good with two little kids who are both afraid of the dark.
- We had one small candle, and I really wished we had more. The one we had was a scented candle that didn’t give off much light. We went to Ikea today and I picked up a bunch of small tea candles to have on hand for future blackouts
- Make sure you have some canned food you like cold on hand. I was never so grateful for canned peaches – both kids like them and they taste good cold. We also made a good dip out of unsalted black beans, salsa, and sour cream from the non-functioning fridge. And my kids love green beans, so we ate some of those. I actually gave Emma the choice between eating ice cream or green beans, and she chose green beans.
- Crank radios are wonderful in blackouts. We recently bought ours as a precautionary measure, and I was so happy to have it! Yes, you could have a battery-powered radio (ours takes batteries) but the crank mechanism works pretty well and it's nice to know it works even if batteries run out. The radio was the only way to hear dependable news; I only wish my town had their own station so I could have gotten local updates instead of depending on NPR.
- Close off any rooms with windows that you can. This helped keep our house significantly warmer. We also closed the drapes and blinds on all windows not getting sunlight.
Do you have blackout tips? This was my first experience with a long-term power outage, but living in Massachusetts I’ll probably see more - hopefully not any time soon!