What to Do When the Power Is out to Be Safe and Happy

Hi, my name is Francis and I’m a technology addict.

What made me realize it? Well, something must be wrong when you almost lost it for a ‘Critical Battery Level’ warning during a power outage.

Plenty of chocolate-chip cookies, Coke, and blankets. My far-fetched, noisy, annoying, snoopy, irresistible Italian parents okay at home. Not even an Armageddon-long blackout. All right. But hours without WhatsUp, Candy Crush, Outlook, Netflix, etc.: nuts!

Learn from my experience: the more you can do to prepare, the greater the likelihood that you will be safe, well-stuffed, and happily entertained when the lights go out.

Follow the tips below

5 Things to Remember or to Do When the Power Is Out

A power outage is not something that just might happen. It will happen. Likely in winter time, but exactly when and for how long, nobody can tell.

So, make sure you know how to address these five key concerns, and you’ll come out the other end of an electric blackout safe and sound.

#1: Heating

Whole-house heating is difficult without electricity. Pick only one room, the smaller the better. Keep it warm with propane heaters or wood stoves. If you don’t have any, bundle up with blankets and coats. NEVER use indoors heating sources that lead to fire and carbon monoxide, such as propane heaters, charcoal or gas BBQ.

#2: Lighting

A candle can set your flat on fire faster than you can believe. If your romantic self doesn’t care much, look at least for stocky ones that won’t tip over. Anyway, to be on the safer side, buy also battery-powered LED lights and flashlights.

#3: Food and Water

Water may not run from the taps, and if it does, it might not be safe to drink or difficult to boil. Create your water supply in advance instead, about 1 gallon per day per person. Shelf-stable foods, like canned goods and powdered or boxed milk, are the best for long power outages. NEVER taste a food to determine its safety!

#4: Refrigeration

Food in the refrigerator is safe as long as power is out no more than 4 hours, according to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Discard any perishable food (for example meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers) that have been above 40 °F for over 2 hours and shift easily spoiled food from the refrigerator to the freezer. Then, keep both refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.

#5: Entertainment

If the power failure goes on for a while, when computers and smartphones no longer work—alas!—overcome boredom with entertainment that does not depend on electricity. Play some card games; read a REAL book. Pick up the phone and rant about the electric blackout to your friends. If you’ve kids, shake your booties and dance together.

Print out the graphic below from Fix.com, and ensure you truly have everything you need in case the electricity goes out.

In the meanwhile, Amazon should have already shipped the paperback of “iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession with Technology and Overcoming Its Hold on Us“, by Larry D. Rosen, for my power outage emergency kit…

Check out other great tips to be safe in winter:

Image titled 'What to Do When the Power Is out to Be Safe and Happy'
what to do when the power is out, electric blackout, power outage safety, how long will food keep in a refrigerator without power, what to do when electricity goes out, power outage preparedness, blackout preparedness, preparing for a power outage

Recommended for You


“PMP”, “PMBOK”, “PMI-ACP” and “PMI” are registered trademarks of the Project Management Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.

project management 2018 agile 2018 pmp 2018 tipsographic stefania

Hi, I am Stefania, hearth and keyboard behind Tipsographic, a free online resource for everybody interested in project management and agile. I specialize in project management tips, tools, and tricks. When I'm not writing, you can find me road cycling around Tuscany or spending time with friends and family.

Welcome to Tipsographic!