Trending Now

Survival Guide For Power Outages

By Grace Muller, staff writer
February 17, 2013; 5:14 PM ET

This story contains details from the storms in 2011. The information described is still relevant to the ongoing winter storms.

"After 7 straight days w/o for Irene and NOW into 5th for Snowtober, we here in the backwoods of Bedford, N.Y. are experts at coping," Twitter user EOSRedux wrote to AccuWeather. "No land lines, no internet, no cable - only link to outside world is Twitter on my Blackberry. Send help - or bourbon!"

What can you do to make it through a long power outage? Here is AccuWeather.com's guide, taking advice from people who are now experts at life without electricity.


What to Eat:

When the power goes out, first on the list of things to eat are perishables in the fridge and freezer.

"Yesterday, we cooked the defrosted pork loin that I had in the freezer before it had a chance to go bad. That was about 10 lbs of meat," Monica Brand, from Kingwood, N.J., wrote. "We don't have a generator so I tried to save a few cold items like cheese and yogurt in a cooler with snow in it."

If you've run out of bread and the milk went bad, then what should you eat? It's time to pull out the dusty non-perishables, like beef jerky, canned tuna and Pop Tarts.

"It's funny you mention pop tarts," Corey Barrett from Manchester, Conn., wrote. "I just finished a pair before I opened your email."

However, blogger EOSRedux wrote that there are some things that are just too dull to eat even during a power outage.

"Note: Canned tuna plain is only meant for cats!" Instead, EOSRedux suggests "PB and saltines [and] Fig Newtons. [We also] did a number on all the Halloween candy that never got handed out. A gal's gotta have chocolate, right?"


How to Stay Warm:

It's key to stay warm during a power outage, but it is also key to stay warm safely.

Many deaths during power outages are related to people improperly using generators.

SEE ALSO:

Carbon Monoxide: The Odorless Killer

What to Do Before a Snowstorm

Feel the Freeze: Why Our Hands and Feet Get Cold

Cold Weather Planning: Seven Steps to a Warmer Home

Propane heaters are not safe for use in enclosed areas either.

The fire marshal "warned that generators should be placed outdoors and cords run into a home to power devices. There have been carbon monoxide exposures as a result of misused generators, he said.

"He also urged residents to use care and not to attempt to heat their homes with gas stoves or illegal kerosene heaters. All of these items require adequate ventilation that cannot be found inside a home.

"Residents are also urged to clean their chimneys and check fireplaces and wood stoves carefully before using them. Bondsville Fire Chief Scott Gustafson said residents with 'hard-wired smoke and carbon monoxide detectors' should regularly check and replace the backup batteries. A sounding detector should not be ignored or disconnected."


Brand family from Kingwood, N.J.

What to Do for Fun:

You'll be itching to get back to clicking around Facebook and watching movies online. Now's your time to go old school. Pull out a deck of cards and the old power-outage favorite, board games.

"The one thing I wish I had more of was board games." Corey Barrett from Manchester, Conn., wrote. "Xbox doesn't help in times like this."

"We've been playing some of our long-forgotten board games, Racko, 10 Days in Asia," Monica Brand, from Kingwood, N.J., wrote. "And of course, UNO and Clue. We even made up our own version of The Game of Things. That was fun! My kids miss their Internet connection and online friends."

Comments

Comments left here should adhere to the AccuWeather.com Community Guidelines. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.