How to Prepare for Power Outages, Especially in Winter

Ana's Food & Lifestyle
by Ana's Food & Lifestyle

It’s all over the news that the UK government is telling us we’re going to have some planned power outages in the coldest time of the year: January and February.

Apparently, there will be no power between 4pm and 8pm or something like that. But we don’t know how many days out of the month this is going to happen or how common these power cuts might be.

From what I’ve learned, things will be far worse than what the government tells us so it’s very important to prepare for a power outage.

I don’t want to scare anybody and I’m not preparing for doomsday or global power outages, just a short guide on preparing for a power outage in the winter. We can all do four hours without power and it will do our families a lot of good. Here’s what I suggest:

1. Keep yourself warm

Buy a wearable blanket and thermal clothing, gloves, and a hat. I’ve seen people sitting in their homes on cold days wearing a t-shirt but complaining about how cold it is in the house. Common sense says don’t do that. Have a little gas-powered heater available.

Camping lights

Lantern for light

2. Create sources of light

It’ll get dusky after 4pm Have little rechargeable lanterns or storm lanterns. The lanterns give you heat and light. There are all sorts of little camping types of lights you can turn on. Use candles; some have a 50-hour burn time.

Put the candles in a lantern for safety if you have kids and pets. Stock up on batteries, lighters, and matches, too.

Power banks

3. Charge your power banks

If you can’t live without your phone, charge up some power banks and put them in every room. Have them ready to go.

Portable camping stove

How to prepare for power outages

4. Find ways to cook and eat

If you can cook on a barbecue outside, it’s a great option. If you have an empty gas canister, have it filled up and ready to go to cook with gas. Buy a portable camping stove that runs on butane gas bottles.

Use them outside or if you use them inside, make sure you have plenty of ventilation and put them on a fire-resistant surface.

Keep a kettle available to warm up water for tea. If you really want, get a survival sachet of food that has heat inside of it that’s activated by air. 

5. Keep a supply of water

Have a supply of drinking water and cooking water available just in case there’s a water shortage, too. Keep a 5-liter bucket filled with tap water to flush toilets and use for other non-food purposes.

6. Keep the kids busy

Have games ready, glow sticks for fun, and anything to keep your kids entertained. It’ll only be four hours, so why not have conversations with your kids?

7. Tape your windows

Put duct tape around your windows to keep the drafts out. Pick a room in your house where you’ll spend the most time and go in and tape the windows. Have scissors nearby in case you need to cut the tape in an emergency so you can exit. 

8. Warm up with alcohol

You’d be surprised how a bit of alcohol can warm you up. It can help your circulation, too, when it’s really cold. A shot of whiskey can warm up your blood.

Power generator

9. Use a power generator

If you must, have a portable solar generator set up and ready to go.

By the way, your fridge and freezer will be fine for four hours without electricity to keep them running. No food will ruin after four hours in the fridge or freezer.

How to prepare for power outages

Hopefully, I covered the basics of how to prepare for power outages. The best advice I can give is to try to enjoy spending time together without all the unnecessary stuff and instead, rely on each other’s company. 

Join the conversation
2 of 8 comments
  • Janice Janice on Jan 10, 2023

    A way to create heat is to take a large (not giant) terracotta flower pot and tray place several tea light candles on the tray, place some blocks or something that is an inch or so high an turn the pot upside down on the blocks. With the candles lit this creates a heat source inside the pot that is much greater than just the lit candles. It can keep an average size room warm as long as the candles burn. Be careful not to touch the pot while it is still hot. It will retain heat for a bit.

  • Boy55264789 Boy55264789 on Feb 27, 2023

    Mirrors to reflect light is rather interesting.