It’s important mothers are prepared. Not paranoid that tragedies are right around the corner every day, but prepared for what may come. This is another installment in my In Case of Emergency Series, today focusing on what to have on hand and what to do when the power goes out.
A few weeks ago a big storm came here in Florida.
Around 7:00 pm, bedtime for all my little ones, the winds were howling, it was raining cats and dogs and then – you guessed it – the power went out.
To our shock and horror we realized… we only had about 3 candles. And they were more for looks than for function.
We had no matches.
We had no batteries.
And we had one self-powered flashlight.
We were basically horrified at our lack of preparation. The kids are all used to going to bed with nightlights and white noise so, without them, it was a ruckus. We wanted to put candles in their rooms, but couldn’t trust they wouldn’t touch them. In the middle of this situation we realized we were not prepared.
Not even close.
The lights didn’t come back on until morning, and all night long I thought about how we needed to get ready in case this happened again.
What Every Mother Needs Handy When the Power Goes Out
So here are some things to keep in mind or remember in case of power outages in your area. If the power goes out in the evening, particularly if it’s city wide due to major weather, you might find yourself without power for hours or even until morning. It’s important to be prepared in the event this happens and you are taking care of little ones.
If it’s dark you need light. If you have toddlers or preschoolers, you won’t want to put candles in their room within arms reach. Why? Well… because kids want to play with flames. The End. In fact, our kids wanted their own little lights in bed, which we didn’t have.
By the next day, we had these battery operated light switches on hand for the future. They can be used without electricity and provide an extremely large amount of light for their size. You can keep these in a basket or container put away for just this type of situation.
Batteries and Chargers
Batteries are a must. You will use them for your flashlights, radios, and various other things while the power is out. Stock up on AAA and AA batteries at least. Make sure you separate (or throw away) old batteries so you don’t waste time when the power is out trying which ones have juice left.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to have some self-powered flashlights or radios around. These work well in your car in case you break down also. Self-powered flashlights are ones that work after you crank them for a certain amount of time. This means you can continually generate power to the flashlight with your own effort. This does get tedious after a while, but they are the most dependable in the long run.
If you have car inverters, you can use them to charge your cell phone or tablets as well. While you won’t want to leave your car running for hours, you can charge your phone to ensure communication lines are open.
Pallets, Books, and Soft Toys
Children will want to be near you when the power is out. Of course, you can use this as an opportunity to play games together, read books, or even tell stories, but the kids will likely want to spend the night near you if the house is pitch black. Have extra blankets on hand (in case it’s winter) and make a cozy area in your room or a common room so everyone is together.
Candles and Matches and Glowsticks
In addition to self-powering flashlights and battery operated lights, good old fashioned candles and matches are a must. You may run out of batteries and your arm may get tired of priming, but big fat candles last a long time. Remember to set them on something like a dinner plate (to prevent wax melting or a fire starting) and out of reach of small children.
Your kids will love any excuse for a glow stick party (ours pictured here) so go to the dollar store and stock up on a lot of glow sticks to help pass the time in the event of an outage. This’ll help keep the kids distracted and having fun instead of worrying about the thunder and darkness.
Pantry Snacks, Food, and Bottled Water
If the power is out for a while, you don’t want to open and close your fridge or freezer multiple times. They are made to last for hours without power running, but every time you open the door and close it you decrease the time it’ll keep your food good. If you have a deep freeze with a lot of things in it, you certainly don’t want to take that risk.
Have bottled water, snacks, and pantry type food on hand to get you through the hours without power.
“We believe that electricity exists, because the electric company keeps sending us bills for it, but we cannot figure out how it travels inside wires.” Dave Barry
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