This article discusses these potential plans, see here.
There is no guarantee that this will happen but potential rolling blackouts are being talked about for this winter. Have you done anything to get ready, just in case it happens?
No matter what heating you have, oil, gas or electric, they all need electricity to ignite and pump the hot water around. So heating your home during these times of power cuts may be problematic. What can you do? Think and try to sort something out.
It's no good thinking about anything that plugs in as there may be no electricity. Calor gas fires are available but then you need to think about ventilation and carbon monoxide alarms. We have just changed ours as it recently started beeping to signal end of life of the device itself.
Do you use gas or electricity to cook your food, boil water for drinks?
Let's all chip in and have a discussion on how we can help each other prepare for this.
Keeping warm in an emergency involves keeping yourself warm, rather than a room or your entire house. You can buy battery operated blankets and clothing but you need a good supply of said batteries. Start getting these now. Failing that thermal underwear, lots of layers of clothing and blankets. Don't forget gloves, hats and extra thick socks/slippers to keep feet warm.
Woodburners are great for those of us that have them but get your logs now. The guy we ordered ours from recently, says they are run off their feet, and he wasn't sure if everyone would be able to get what they needed before winter sets in. Also kindling, newspaper, firelighters, matches. Get a good supply now. We can make toast, heat small amounts of food and water on ours if necessary.
If you will need to rely on hot water bottles to heat you or hot water to make drinks, how are you going to heat the water? We have a one ring canister low gas cooker, rather than the old fashioned tall camping stoves. It is capable of boiling water in a camping kettle/saucepan. We can make hot drinks, cook simple meals on it. We have bought extra canisters and may still buy more. What about those simple meals, have you got some in?
How about lights? Candles are all well and good and we have those but can be dangerous if not put somewhere safe to avoid setting fire to things nearby. Always have ways of putting out simple fires should they occur. We have several oil lamps although not the kind that have the glass lanterns on them which give out more light. We have oil for our lamps but could get more so must check our supply.
Torches are great but you need batteries or will need to invest in wind up torches for short use. LED lanterns come in handy but again, batteries. If you need to be hands free get head torches. They are safe to use, give out a very bright focused light and are quite comfortable to wear. Again, batteries needed but wind up ones can be bought.
Garden solar lights can be left to charge outside during the day and brought in at night to offer some light.
Any other ideas that might be of help to us?
We were without power for 17 or 18 hours following a storm last winter, it was pretty horrible even though we have plenty of candles, torches, blankets and a camping gas stove with several spare canisters. We have those supplies as power cuts are frequent here, although fortunately only usually last a few minutes.ReplyDelete
Thanks for your reply. 125 people had read it before you and none had left a reply. Always pays doesn’t it to have those things.Delete
In my previous house I lived very rurally and during snow storms the power lines came down regularly. I was once without power for 3 days in an all electric house in below zero temperatures! But I was prepared. I had a woodburner that I could cook on plus a small camping stove and had a decent storecupboard of basic foods that could be heated in one pan. I had wind up torches, candles and a healthy supply of batteries to keep our head torches going. I'm going to get myself prepared again, just in case!!ReplyDelete
Our longest power cut was during the hurricane power cut of 1987. Our son needed baby formula and luckily, I had made a days worth up and filled a large flask. Made toast for the neighbours and invited them around for a hot drink.Delete
We lose power any number of times over the year, mostly due to storms--sometimes for days, so I always keep several rechargeable battery power packs charged and on hand (very useful for travel, too). A large capacity one will charge a mobile multiple times before it needs to be recharged. Here in the US, many people have done away with landlines (due to cost), so mobiles are a critical link in an emergency. During some significant emergency crises in the past (i.e. earthquake, hurricanes), text messaging was the only communication link that worked. Even landlines were down. A power pack will also recharge tablets or any other devices with USB cords. Another useful device is a wind-up and/or battery powered emergency radio.ReplyDelete
As I live in a semi-rural area, the other thing that happens during power cuts is the loss of running water and the ability to flush toilets or shower (i.e. a well and septic requires electricity, if you don't have any solar power), so I also keep multiple gallons of water stored in the garage/shed. Some containers are for drinkable water only.
Another source of information may be found from your local power companies and local governments. Ours have lists on their websites of recommended items to have on hand for dealing with loss of power--both for winter and summer situations. Summer temps here regularly hit 30-40C+, so power cuts can be every bit as challenging health-wise as winter blackouts.
Wow! Thank you, some very good info there. I shall look into some of them.Delete
I live in the US also and we have a well. No electricity means no running water, shower, or flushing. We finally bought a whole house generator that is run by natural gas which hopefully will be available.Delete
I think one of the things I value most in a power cut is a non-electric can opener! Also, we need to remember that internet routers won't work. It's the odd things like that which are easy to forget. Like your idea of garden solar lighting!ReplyDelete
Very true. We just bought two manual butterfly style can openers. Bit hard on the fingers though. Also, our land line phone stops working as it needs its power base.Delete
Am looking for several more thermos flasks and another single burner Ring and cannisters to go with it. a couple of extra power banks might n ot go amiss either.ReplyDelete
Don’t think we have a power bank, any tips?Delete
That's Hubby's department but I'll ask him and see what he says.Delete
Hello again. Hubby says that power banks can be charged up and then used to power or recharge mobile phones, tablets and other small devices if needed when the power is off. Lidl have some in the middle of the store tomorrow or next week. I phones or I pads might need specific power banks.Delete
Extra solar lights, either clear or white can be charged in a sunny spot and brought inside as extra lighting too.
Thank you for getting back to me.Delete
If you have an upright freezer put meat and fish at the bottom as its the coldest part. Use blankets, duvets etc to wrap any freezer in and don't open the Door!Delete
Turn off and unplug asmuch as you can, even stuff on surge protectors so that nothing blows up when the power returns. Remember, everyone will turn everything back on as soon as they, which may cause a drain on the system and cause more problems.
Don't open the freezer for at least 3 hours when the power is back on.
Buy some wide mouth food flasks. If you know when the power is out at least you can heat some food up in advance.
If any of your door locks, work electronically, make sure you know how to put them on manual, or you may find yourselves locked in.
Thanks again, more great ideas.Delete
We have 3 camping stoves; 2 single burners that use canisters, and a larger one with a grill, that uses a gas bottle. One of the small ones is kept at the allotment for making a drink, heating soup, frying eggs etc, but we could bring it home if needed. I got very inventive when camping, and even cooked chilled pizza on the larger one, using a large frying pan to cook the underside on the ring before putting it under the grill. We have torches, candles, and battery run candles, and keep a good stock of batteries, and we have both a moveable and a brick built barbecue and a good supply of charcoal. Honestly, it's like going back to the early 70s thinking about power cuts.ReplyDelete
Yes, I worked as a bank cashier, it was very odd doing everything by candlelight. You are certainly well prepared.Delete
If you boil a kettle when the power is on, store the unused hot water in a thermos flask. Remember that long power cuts may affect your freezer contents. It may be wise to eat up the contents and then switch it off (remember to keep door propped ajar to prevent mould growing on the door seals though) Stock up on canned foods which can be eaten cold - esp proteins like beans, corned beef, tuna etc. Get a power brick charger, and try to keep it charged, so you are able to keep your mobile phone working. Whilst hot water and soap is best for handwashing, a dispenser of hand sanitiser will suffice if energy is limited. If you know when blackouts are expected, plan your meals accordingly - eg have a cooked breakfast, but a bowl of cereal later. Wear thicker socksReplyDelete
Great tips there. I have heard about filling up empty freezer space with 3/4 full cleaned out milk and juice containers as they keep it colder for longer.Delete
I remember back to 1990. We were young parents of 2, the youngest only 8 weeks old. We lived in a rented farm cottage and had a huge snowfall. We were without power for 10 days, luckily we had a coal fire with back boiler, so warm in one room and lots of hot water. We didn't have central heating though and my aunt who ran the main farm supplied us with a hot meal every day from their Aga. Your post has prompted me to get prepared, although we still have a few things like a stove, etc, from our camping days plus a few candles.ReplyDelete
You are most welcome. Hopefully others chipping in will increase our knowledge.Delete
Now we've moved I think we are really going to miss the solar power, the log burner and the Aga. Both our homes are almost fully electric, with just hot water and heating being off the combi boiler, but as you say without electricity that won't work anyway.ReplyDelete
I think it was after one of your posts and after a power-cut we had in Winter that I bought a small gas cannister cooking ring so that we could at least have hot drinks and fill hot water bottles. I have a good supply of candles, nightlights and similar in and a torch that is permanently plugged in and which comes on as soon as it's power supply is lost. That's invaluable as I can then find the candles matches etc.
The garden solar light idea is a good one and something that would come in very handy for us, as currently we look like Santa's grotto at night we have so many lanterns.
We haven’t yet got any of those so must rectify that. You sound pretty well prepared though.Delete
I never imagined that we would have to consider power blackouts again. We are badly prepared really, although we do have a gas hob for cooking and boiling water but only one torch and a few fragranced candles! Thank you for such a thought provoking post. It has spurred me on to do better.ReplyDelete
You are most welcome, hope you find what you need.Delete
Hubby came home with 2 head torches yesterday so we have made a start!Delete
Solar panels and a strorage system for the energy they produce would be the best, but they have not only got very expensive, but you have to wait very long to have it installed. Our son has both in the house he built two years ago, and he doesn´t have to be afraid of blackouts.ReplyDelete
Hilde in Germany
Indeed they would be useful, generally though, we don’t normally have many cuts. This year might be an exception. Are you still being told to expect power cuts?Delete