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Things to do when power goes out





standready
Bad weather knocked my power out late yesterday for 7 hours. So I watched the rain and until night. Battery backup on home computer works long enough to save any work and shut the system down, Tablet had a little charge left so read some short stories (I should have charged it earlier in the day). Check on my basement sump pump pit a few times. Water got close to top but not out of the pit. Could not sleep. Opened all the curtains/blinds in house and had enough 'natural' light even with the clouds to not need a flashlight or candles to move around. Sat and listened to my MP3 player.
So any ideas for things to do without power?? I need power! laugh
IceCreamTruck
Post on frihost... wait a minute, that won't work! I think people used to sit around and hit each other with sticks and rocks. Have you tried it?
deanhills
I'd probably get into my car and drive until I get to where there is power. Maybe a diner or something? Maybe an Internet Cafe?
ocalhoun
Gee... I dunno... what did people do before there was such a thing as electricity?

You might...
-Read a book... by candle or lantern-light if it's dark
-Talk to real people
-Play a board or card game
-Develop an artistic talent (play music, draw/paint, write, what have you)

If the power's out for a long time, you could have what -- in Florida -- we called a 'hurricane party'.
Everybody from the neighborhood gathers together to have a barbecue. Because the barbecue grill is the only cooking appliance they have that works without external power* and the meat and food in their fridge will go bad soon if it's not all cooked up.

*Because efficient heating isn't much of a concern there, propane/gas stoves are much rarer. Not unheard of, but nearly everyone uses electric stoves and ovens.
lovescience
Put any puzzle together...
deanhills
OK this looks interesting. An SOS charger. That can also light up things. Works without electricity!

wellerchap
Of those wind-up torches, I have one of the cheaper ones (well, it was a gift from my mate, who's a real cheapskate, so it WILL have been a cheapo Very Happy )...it is very dull when newly charged, and generally lasts only seconds before - nothing! - make sure you check them out first before buying, maybe buy dear, and if you see my mate coming towards you with one in his hand, tell him to "bog off!" Very Happy
standready
deanhills wrote:
I'd probably get into my car and drive until I get to where there is power. Maybe a diner or something? Maybe an Internet Cafe?

Thought about that but knew trees/power line were probably down blocking streets. Found out that was the case.

ocalhoun wrote:

-Develop an artistic talent (play music, draw/paint, write, what have you)

My keyboard is electric powered but could do my finger exercises anyway.
TheGremlyn
I remember when I was at my old apartment the power went out for several hours. I was on my laptop for a little bit and I tried to read and I watched the rain and the lightning. I also remember talking to my mom for probably an hour before the power came back on. I called my mom cause it was too dark inside and I knew there phone would work. Don't remember what we talked about though. So clearly next time the power goes out you should call up a friend or something.
Nick2008
When the power goes out I usually light up candles and play cards and dominoes with my family. I also go out somewhere during the day to escape the heat (my power usually goes out during the dog days of summer as a result of thunderstorms).
watersoul
I haven't experienced a power cut in my area for 15-20 years, but I always have a few hundred candles in the house along with usual camping/hiking gear. I'd still be online for a few hours, tethering my mobile phone connection through my laptop until the batteries died. I keep another old 3G phone charged in a drawer for this reason though.
A battery powered radio is also useful, especially for local stations which may be providing information on the situation.

Short term outages would be more of a distraction, but if it were for a day or more then I'd be running a power lead from my car through a 500W inverter which just about covers the fridge/freezer for a few hours top-up each day. It would be used for heating water as well because my gas powered boiler needs electricity for it's control mechanism. No gas? I have a small car/travel kettle water heater but I would probably just light the firebasket in my yard and get the cooking pans out.

Aside from that I'd hope for a cloud free night and get outside as quickly as I could to enjoy a starlit sky free from light pollution Smile
rjraaz
Power failure is usual problem at my area and of-course we have long no power duration daily.

During this period I used to read books, magazine and go for long drive. Sometimes spent my time with friends and neighbors.
deanhills
Was reminded of this thread when I woke up at 2:00 a.m. without power. Didn't last long though, and was glad my flash light was in the right spot for navigation. Didn't have to think what to do.
grofet
The best way having fun with power off is thinking about anything. Use imagination, creativity and innovation to solve many problems in this world. The first problem that you have to solve is how to create your own power source that you can use and share to the neighborhood when the usual power is dead. It would be so fun doing it especially when you found something new that can save this world and no one else know about it. After the power source problem is solved you can change the subject to other problems like global warming, conspiracy, the true religion, important things to do, plan b of your life and many more. You can try this too when the power in on. After you found something brilliant you should try to make it real in real life, so many people will have benefits from your thoughts. Happy thinking.
standready
Won't say what we did to amuse yourselves for part of the time. Wink
My neighbor just gave me a portable 900W gas powered generator so (next time) I can keep my sump pump going and refrigerator cool. Extremely mean of him to be so kind to worthless me.
watersoul
Cool neighbour gift standready, keep a cold beer in that fridge for him when the power goes again, something to do at least Smile

Curious, what's the inflow rate to the sump pit usually per day or season of the year?
Could you get away with a 20 Dollar hand bilge pump for extreme no gas or anything type emergencies, or if it's not that fast would simple bucket bail out work?
I've only ever had basements well above the water table so the whole pump need is a new consideration for me.
standready
watersoul wrote:
Curious, what's the inflow rate to the sump pit usually per day or season of the year?

Water flow into the pit varies a lot depending how hard it might be raining at the time and how saturated the ground is.
For the most part I could and have used buckets but not fun carrying upstairs then outside to dump.
raaeft1
After the inverter konks off, go to sleep in the heat praying for quick restoration of power supply. I also call up the electricity people to find out when the supply will be restored.
coolclay
I always get a very sad giggle when I hear about people not knowing what to do without electricity. Growing up and living in areas that just recently got electrical lines placed in the mid 1950's, it always amazes me how dependent people become on luxuries like electricity and even more so on cell phones or other modern technology. While I wouldn't say I am the hardcorest of the neoluddites out there, I certainly strive to only use technology when I am either "forced" to by modern society or it benefits me, and I always strive to be completely self-sufficient and independent without it.

Having lived in the northeast of the US, and now in the deep south, we occasionally have power outages for a week, and sometimes more. Most are weather related outages either huge blizzards, or hurricanes.

During this time, I/we
1. Get projects done around the house, work in the garden, build something
2. Clean
3. Get more chances to do outdoor activities
4. Play games (poker, board games, baseball, whatever)
5. Read books
6. Discuss theology, and/or other random topics
7. Write and make other crafts/artwork
8. Eat some mushrooms and go for a lovely little trip
9. Relax!
10. Sleep!

In all honesty there is very little in my life that requires electricity. For me it is a luxury, and I am just as content without it. I have also designed and built many solar powered household electrical items, such as drills, saws, lamps, speakers, radios, and a bunch of other little things that make life easier during power outages. I also have a small battery bank and an inverter to power things like a laptop, my cable router (for internet service), and what ever other low wattage devices I want to use.

As for my freezer/fridge, I always keep it stocked full of frozen bottles of water to keep things cool for extended periods of time.

Anyway that's my little mini-rant for the day.
Cosmoslayer
Go outside and see the sun. Very Happy
codegeek
I generally play chess, or read a nice book.
spinout
iF power goes out then I have the escape route on an analogue telephone and the number to the power company! the trick is to have the flashlight near so you can see the number and the fingerboard...
coolclay
Keeping an old analog phone is always a good idea! That is if you still have land line service. I use Google voice, routed through an Obi110, using cable internet. All of which don't require much electricity, so I just power it all via a small solar charged battery bank, and I have phone service too!
Radar
My answer would be laptop. I realise the usefulness decreases if the Internet is cut out, but I'm still game.

When laptop power dies, read. When your eyes potentially get sore from reading in the dark, clean. When you're sick of that, go outside and go for a walk.
Insanity
Play some board games with your friends or family. That's what people used to do at night to spend family time together. That's why it's a good idea to keep a well-stocked cabinet of games like Monopoly and Scrabble so you have something to do when the power goes out.
deanhills
I've only had two hours sleep last night. So I'd say if lights go out, it's a wonderful opportunity to catch up with sleep. I seem to always be going short on it, with average 4/5 hours sleep a night. Razz
RosenCruz
Reading with a candle is the best thing for me. I repeat that Smile
Peterssidan
The power often returns pretty quickly here so it's not much of a problem. Sometimes I wish the power was gone longer because it can be quite cosy. Just watching and listening to the heavy rain and the lightning can be entertaining enough. If it's late I can have an early night, or if there are other people we can play board games in the light of candles.
coolclay
deanhills wrote:
I've only had two hours sleep last night. So I'd say if lights go out, it's a wonderful opportunity to catch up with sleep. I seem to always be going short on it, with average 4/5 hours sleep a night. Razz


I think that's because you spend too much time on Frihost my friend! Mr. Green
deanhills
coolclay wrote:
I think that's because you spend too much time on Frihost my friend! Mr. Green
True! VERY true! Maybe I should go on a holiday or something.
playfungames
I am in a country where power outages are frequent. Ranging from a few hours a day to half a day, we don't get electricity. That is the number one reason why life for me here sucks. But we have grown into this. We do a lot of things when there is no power:

    Go hang out and just see people walk by.
    Go to a restaurant, talk and eat (for a long time).
    Go drinking or get high.
    Play games in smartphone until the battery runs out.
    Use laptop until its battery runs out as well.
    Sleep at odd hours when there is no power.
    Excercise (Push ups or those home cardio excercise).
    Just talk with parents when there are noone else around.
    Listen to music from a small mp3 player.
    Read a book or magazine (in detail).
sysna
It is not very frequent here , but i like too much when it just happen in nights , the silence is just amazing! you can do many things in home when it happens actually, you can try to find a source of light like discovering new abilities of you mobile phones and you may also find out those old candles from last birthday to be very handy in such cases.

The most thing i like in such situation is to talk with other people, now when this happens all of our neighbors come together to talk with each other about it and this is lots of fun because i even see some neighbors that i haven't seen from many months or even years !
riteshk1
read a book or you can go outside with your friend to and spend some time.
LostOverThere
The power going out here is usually synonymous with a huge thunderstorm, so usually, it's sitting on the porch watching the lightning.

Storms are great.
oliviafoster01
I usually listen up music and drink lot of water to perspire so as to stay hydrated.
jackbreat
During this time Sleep at odd hours when there is no power..Many options are ready when light go out...Gossip with family members because all sitting in Hall..listing the music on phone ..otherwise drink lot of cold water ...Smile
Insanity
Board games are great because they don't require too much electricity other than some lighting, which can be provided by candles and the like. You can also read books using old fashioned books instead of ereaders. Or you can just sit there and talk like normal people do.
Aliciawillems
when powers goes out, at this time best idea is listing the music and playing games on a phone.. Wink Wink ..
chatrack
If it is night time, it is a good time to assemble all family members in living room, making it a real living room.
dxverm
If my electricity goes out I have a small generator and a cell phone, so if my cell and tablet are charged and can tether and surf the web or watch movies Smile gotta be prepared lol
standready
Thank you for all the suggestions.
I could do what my parents have done and install a gas natural gas fueled whole house backup generator. One week after the generator was installed, they lost electricity for 52 hours. Everything in their house did not know the difference.
Of course, I don't feel the investment is justified for minor and seldom inconvenience of no electricity.
carleyadriana
when power goes out idea i listing the my favorite song and gossip with friends on net...
CHAOS-THEORY
the best thing to do is to freak the shit out of people
cybersa
playfungames wrote:
I am in a country where power outages are frequent. Ranging from a few hours a day to half a day, we don't get electricity. That is the number one reason why life for me here sucks. But we have grown into this. We do a lot of things when there is no power:

    Go hang out and just see people walk by.
    Go to a restaurant, talk and eat (for a long time).
    Go drinking or get high.
    Play games in smartphone until the battery runs out.
    Use laptop until its battery runs out as well.
    Sleep at odd hours when there is no power.
    Excercise (Push ups or those home cardio excercise).
    Just talk with parents when there are noone else around.
    Listen to music from a small mp3 player.
    Read a book or magazine (in detail).


I had the same situation in my state.(Tamilnadu)
But now no power cut.

During Power Cut:
Playing cricket with my friends.
Going to river side for hangout.
Listening to songs on Portable Player.
and more.

In those days i don't have laptop.So i browse through mobile using opera mini browser.
mikeperhem1
When the electricity goes out I usually mild up candle lights and perform cards.
standready
coolclay wrote:
Keeping an old analog phone is always a good idea! That is if you still have land line service. I use Google voice, routed through an Obi110, using cable internet. All of which don't require much electricity, so I just power it all via a small solar charged battery bank, and I have phone service too!

What are you doing for phone now that 'Obi' won't work with Google? I have had an Ooma connected to my internet since February. No more 'land' line so to speak.
tonberry
There is absolutely nothing to do when the power is off. Except sleep. And suicide.

Seriously though, I live near the center of the town and therefore have 1-2 power outages a year - even if they would have done them more frequently at 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning, I would have noticed because few devices in my house reset their timers anytime the power is out.

I had been taking the comfort of having the access to the energy for granted until I started being together with my girl. She lives 40km away from town and the power in her village is not only frequently out, but when it happens phones don't work as well, as the signal dies. Aaaand they often do it in the middle of the day!

God bless electricity and Nicola Tesla! Howgh!
RosenCruz
Definitely reading. The best option if you have a light source
raubymartin
Nice question.when light goes out feeling like nothing to do without light.but good option to spend time with family.
pravojednostavno
When power goes I usually read a book on Kindle, drink a glass of wine and eat slice of cheese by candle-light or go for a walk.
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