Before The Lights Go Out

Our local community had our first summer storm where many in our community lost power and are still waiting for power to be restored 12 hours later. I had a request on facebook to make a list of the top 10 things you should do prepare in case you are without power. I am not a sky is falling type of person, but there are precautions that you can take to be better prepared.  I do take precautions and I do have other members of my family give me the eye roll when I do these things. But the youngest child of mine and the dog are happy that I am taking the precautions!

When we have the threat of losing the power in the spring and summer, it is usually because we have a bad thunderstorm with straight line winds and possible tornados. In the winter when we loose power it is because of ice on the lines and wind blowing and snaping power lines and trees that fall on the lines. Either way…these are some basic tips to consider.

  1. Try to turn off as many lights and appliances as possible in your home. Give the power companies a break to help get the power on and they don’t need a huge surge of power going through the lines when they get them turned back on.
  2. Not only turn off, but also unplug your computers and televisions that are not in use. I like to take the extra precaution of unplugging the computers and flat screen televisions. If your house were to be struck by lighting, it could go through all of your outlets and destroy those items.
  3. Now is not the time to wash clothes or run the dishwasher. If you were you lose power you do not want a dishwasher full of water and a washing machine full of clothes sitting in water. Wait a couple of hours until the storm threat is over and then wash your clothes and dishes.
  4. Bring in your lawn furniture or anything else that may fly away. This is kind of an odd tip, but I like to try to bring in as many things as we can. This will avoid some of these items to become air born and take out a power line, break a window or damage a house or fence.
  5. Find your flashlights and make sure they have batteries another alternative is to Gather candles and find the matches. With flashlights I like to have one and a spare. Your cell phone can also be used as a source of light in a pinch.
  6. Gather cell phone chargers. I like to make sure that my cell phone has a full charge so that if the power goes out you can still use your phone for a couple of hours. I have a car cell phone charger that I keep in my car so I can go to my car and charge my phone if need be. I did use my iPad to watch the local radar. This only works until we lose power and the modem goes out in our home. But the iPad has a lot of games loaded on it that we can play in the dark. The battery when fully charged will go for many hours. If you cell phone battery is running low, it takes less power to send texts than to make calls.
  7. Wear your shoes. We typically do not have shoes on in our house, but during storms it is a good idea to have them on your feet. If you have to leave your home with seconds notice and have to walk over broken glass, you will be glad to have those shoes. I keep my slippers (that have hard soles) by my bed every night. If you have to run out of your house in the dead of winter, the last thing you are going to think about is finding a pair of shoes.
  8. Get some blankets and pillows together. We make what my youngest son calls a nest. He takes his blankets and pillows and lays them in the hallway in our basement. The dog lays down with us and we are nice and comfy. If you have a night of storms, you can fall asleep in the nest and get a good nights sleep. Make it fun and bring down some snacks and bottled water to help the time go by.
  9. If you loose power, eat the food contents in the fridge first. Do not be tempted to open the freezer. Those items can be kept frozen if you don’t open the freezer. Open the freezer after you are ready to start eating everything in it.
  10. Have a good generator. Make sure that if you need a generator you have a good quality one that is gassed up and ready to go. If you have a sump pump that runs, you need a generator. If not, you will be bailing out the water by hand.

The most important thing to do is to remain calm and stay safe. Take some extra precautions for peace of mind. If you panic and have young children, they will learn to panic during storms. Make it an adventure and not a time to live in fear.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at  MS. Simplicity offers monthly classes, click here to find out the latest offerings! For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

If you try any of my suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  It helps me to understand what my readers want me to write about and what they think is a waste of their time….thanks for taking the time to help me out.