The idea of a power outage may seem like a fun adventure for an hour or so (especially if you’ve prepared with a “Power’s Out Emergency Kit”), but all too soon the family will realize that their go-to devices rely on good ol’ electricity. But never fear! Here’s Lisa Bedford, our resident Survival Mom on how to keep your family safe, entertained, AND sane in the event of a winter power outage.
Winter sanity survival tips
- Don’t underestimate the lighting power of a single candle. It can provide enough light for a family game of Monopoly or a family reading night. Plumber’s candles can be purchased at home improvement stores. They’re dirt-cheap, and each candle lasts about 8 hours. Just be sure to keep any open flame away from children and never fall asleep while it’s still burning.
- If you’re snowed in, create a daily schedule of chores, school, playtime, and even a few surprises. Try to stick with established routines as best you can. This keeps the household running smoothly and gives everyone something to look forward to. Surprises might be sweet treats that have been stashed away, small gifts from a dollar store, firing up the generator to watch a favorite family movie, or Family Talent Night. Be creative!
- Keep an eye out for symptoms of stress. I discovered that my husband gets very fatigued when he’s under a lot of stress; my daughter begins to need extra time alone; my son needs more physical activity and socialization than usual; and I need mental breaks via a good book or a knitting project. Look for ways to handle stress symptoms unique to each family member.
- Have plenty of No-Cook Foods available, but if you must cook off the grid, make sure it’s done out in the garage or in a very well-ventilated area. The carbon monoxide from lighted charcoal, gas stove, or propane cooker can be deadly in a sealed area.
- Don’t underestimate the magic of the light stick! They’re magical to young children and can provide extra light when two or three of them are hung in front of a mirror. At about a dollar per light stick, go ahead and buy a case or two at Amazon.com or eBay.
For more tips on preparing your family for any situation, visit the The Survival Mom Lisa Bedford’s website and learn more about her book at thesurvivalmom.com.