When you loose electricity

tjstjs -
edited January 2013 in Off-Topic Discussion
I live in an isolated area where I loose my power a lot. Mostly it's only a day or two but have had to go without for 2 weeks.

Besides the usual - batteries, candles, drinking water etc... Here are some things I do. If you have extra tips, please share!

1) Even if you live in the city sometimes you do loose your access to water for various reasons. Once a sub-station froze. When I know there is a storm coming, I now fill my bathtub with water. I"m on a well so no power means no water.

2) Another way to get water if it's raining? I take off one of my gutter spouts and stick buckets under there. It's way faster than sticking them out in the rain to fill.

3) Keep phone numbers of people you know who don't live in your area handy. Last storm I lost power for 2 weeks before Christmas. I couldn't get through to my power company - the lines were jammed. But my mother could who lives out of the area. So she called for me and passed on the info.

4) Buy a hand cranked emergency radio. amazon.com/Eton-FR200-Grundig-Emergency-Radio/dp/B000083CUA They work great. The one I have also has a light and a loud emergency signal. Batteries are great but short lived.

5) Turn your freezer up to it's highest setting. It helps keep things longer.

6) I bought a small grill top that I can use in my fireplace. I have two cement blocks that I stick inside my fireplace. Build my fire between the two blocks and place my grill on top of that for cooking. One block also works great. You can scoop the hot embers into the holes. It will keep water pretty hot. So much better than standing outside cooking on a camp stove in the freezing cold!

7) Our 2 week outage - many people thought it would be okay to leave their pets in the house with lots of food/water/blankets. If your pets are like mine, they are indoor and outdoor pets. They haven't built up the right amount of fat and fur to keep them alive in freezing temps like outdoor only pets do. So many people returned home to find their pets had died. That's why I stick it out. But some people can't. If ya got pets, most emergency shelters will allow them now.

Those are mine odd ones tips. Hope you can add to the list!


  • I live in Houston, and we must occasionally prepare for a Hurricane. I take measures about 5 days in advance if it looks like its headed here. I don't always fill the bathtub, but I have collected lots of 5 gallon plastic buckets over they years. I set about two or three dozen near the entrance up close to the house perimeter and fill them with a garden hose--they are good for washing and flushing the toilets--some I cover with plastic bags, some I don't. I also fill four or five Ozarka bottles for drinking that I keep inside the house. I always keep a small camper stove handy for emergencies--it can be used in the fireplace to vent the fumes--so far, there has never been a need to use it. For food, it's good to have lots of canned food--beans and canned fish for protein are all I usually stock up on--they can be eaten cold if necessary--actually the fish is best cold. Normally I avoid canned food, but it's hard to beat for emergencies. Raw nuts are an important part of my daily diet anyway--almonds, walnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, and sometimes others are in the pantry. Nuts don't require refrigeration, are delicious, and very nutritious. Dried fruit is another thing to stock up on if you don't keep it on hand--prunes, raisins, apricots, figs, etc. Instant oats, Raman noodles, and instant soups only require hot water without prolonged cooking. Crackers and chips are not really nutritious or healthful, but it's nice to have some crunch and salt at times. Evaporated milk and milk powder would be nice to have, and some soy milks don't need refrigeration until opened. Stay away from soda, sports drinks, etc.--they are terrible for your health--stick with water. Lots of people here buy generators for emergencies, but if you don't run them regularly, the gasoline goes bad and they may not start when you need them. If you get one, it's best to run it every month for a while. Of course, batteries, and flashlights are a must.
  • We had a terrible ice storm in 2010 and had no power for 10 days in VERY cold weather. We are lucky to have a motorhome with a generator that we stayed in....had me, my hubby, daughter, son in law, a dalmation, a boxer, another small dog, 2 cats and a bearded dragon all in a very small space! We were still very lucky to have it. The main thing they always tell us is to fill the bathtub and leave refridgerator and freezer doors shut.
  • I have no power Rt now because of sandy.just a small Genny..to power my fridge and a few lights so I'm just gonna paint all day.. :-)..I wish my sdm would get here already..
  • I feel for you! Hope you get SDM and power soon!
  • So sorry to hear that. Stay safe. Everything is such a mess on the east coast. I also hope you get your power back and medium soon! Take care :)
  • We actually only lost power for 30 minutes during Sandy but just down the road from us and all around our area have been out of electricity since Tuesday and they don't expect its return till Sunday or Wednesday. Unfortunately, even if we do have power we do not always have water bc we are on a town water system and it depends if the pumps have power. The past few days have been touch and go with the water. So even before Sandy arrived, we filled up the bath tubs, all pots and pans with drinking water, in addition to buying bottled water. The pool in the backyard (as long as it is not winter and the top not frozen) can come in very handy for water to flush with. Another thing we also do is fill up our cars with gas so if need be we can use it for the generator. Right now there are not too many gas stations that have gas in our area, either they ran out or have no power. This was such a horrible storm which left so much in ruins here in NY. We consider ourselves lucky that we just lost some of the shingles on our roof. Donna
  • edited November 2012
    Thanks to all..I have not had power since Tuesday here in Rockland NY. electricity pole went down Rt in front of the house..they said a wk.. :(
  • Glad to hear you have power Donna. After the Joplin tornado we were like that, trucks could not get in with food supplies, shelves in the stores that had power were bare, long lines for gas. Really feel for you all out east!
  • Here's a link on 5 ways to keep your phones charged. I guess most apps run in the background and drain power. Here's a link:


    TattooArtist and Donna? Glad you are both okay.
  • Thank you Liz and TJ. We are pretty much back to normal. Our son and his wife just got power back about an hour ago same for our cousins. The only thing we have to tend with now is trying to get gas for the car. There is not much to be had and lines are about 1-2 hrs long.
    TattooArtist, I am about 30 minutes from you. They were actually ahead of schedule in restoring the electricity here. Hopefully, it will be the same for you. Donna
  • Best wishes for all our friends in the storm affected area! Those of us who live on the Gulf of Mexico coast have 'been there, done that'.......for some of us, more times than we'd like to admit. You'll learn your tougher than you think and will come back stronger in many aspects than before the storm. Hang tough, stick together, help each other when you can......my thoughts and prayers are with each of you!
  • Around here generators are very common. We put one of those whole house automatic ones on my parents house because the power was out so much here and was tough on my Mom with her dementia. We were in BIG trouble anytime the TV went out...it was a major ordeal and well worth the expense to keep her calm. It is nothing for us to be out of power several times a year....usually just a day or so but sometimes 2 weeks. The joys of living in tornado alley!
  • tjstjs -
    edited November 2012
    Thank goodness I DO NOT live in Tornado Alley like Liz! I sure wish Liz would move. Those things scare the jeepers out of me!!!!

    Even though I live in a more temperate climate I do loose my power a lot cause I live at the end of the world. A seagull flies over a power line and I loose my power. Like Liz, I loose my power a lot during the winter months mostly for 1-2 days but up to two weeks.
    LizONeal said:

    The joys of living in tornado alley!

    Mine is - the joys of living by seagulls :)

  • @Gus I am able to get gas on the garden state parkway.right were NJ starts From NY.sometimes their are long lines but they continue on getting shipment s of gas.I went today around 8pm and it only took me 15MNS.I still have no power and the electric pole is still in the middle of the street..this is my first time without power for more than a day.
    Thanks to all
  • Alex I am glad you didn't have to wait in those nightmare lines like I see on the news. But it still sucks. An hour without power feels like 5! I am the biggest whinner when I loose my power. You guys are lucky I loose my internet connection :D
  • Wednesday I waited one hr for gas.midday so I figured the later the better..5 days so far no power. :-q
  • One day feels like 50 without power! I know it's not going to help but hang in there and I hope you get your slow dry medium soon!
  • Thanks.I'm starting to loose it now.
    I got my sdm a few days ago..I just mixed my paint..
  • Yay, glad something is going right for you Alex! Would bring you a generator if I was closer!
  • Sorry to hear the days getting longer....what a pain for you Alex! Hang tough, it will be over with sooner than later now. Glad you got your sdm....one bright moment for you in an otherwise miserable time.
  • tjstjs -
    edited November 2012
    Alex, do you have your power back yet?
  • Yes I finally got it yesterday 10 Long Hard days
  • Glad to hear the good news Alex! Here's hoping the snow storm didn't cause you any more outages!
  • So happy for you Alex!
  • The snow did Cause some problem fire done people.their power went our too.
    Now I can paint every night. ;)
    Thanks to all
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