We live in Texas, which means heat and thunderstorms, right? Well, thanks to rolling blackouts caused by high temperatures and the lightning that usually come with storms, that means we are prime targets for the occasional power outage. Last summer, we had two outages in our neighborhood (one lasting 12 hours . . . yep, 12 hours without AC in August!). Along the way, I’ve learned a few mom lessons. Even if you’re only without power for an hour, it can cause a lot of problems, so it’s always best to be prepared.
Don’t open the fridge. If you can, keep it closed until the power is back on. According to FoodSafety.gov, food can stay good up to two to four hours in the refrigerator if you leave the door closed/open it sparingly. The big exception to this is breast milk. You don’t want to take a chance with that, right? A lot of moms in my neighborhood took their breast milk out immediately and put it on ice in a freezer . . . the other food was a secondary worry.
Turn off all switches, lamps, etc. During our long outage, the power wasn’t restored until 2:30 a.m. If the light switch had been on in my daughter’s room, she would have gotten a nice little wake me up.
Use battery powered sound/light machines. Does your child sleep with a sound or light machine? Our daughter does and thankfully it has a battery back up, so it plays right on even if the power goes out. One of our outages started after bedtime, but she didn’t know the difference because she kept hearing that fake rain.
Charge up in the car. If you can, jump in the car and take a drive. You’ll get a little AC time, but most important you can charge your cell phones. The battery will go fast because you’ll be bored and you’ll use it as a flashlight at some point. You don’t want that battery going dead in the middle of the night with no way to charge it.
Keep a stash of flashlights and candles. I know it sounds cliche, but it’s a must. You also need to know exactly where they are. Imagine looking for flashlights in a pitch black garage . . . with a dead cellphone and scared toddler. It’s not pretty, y’all!
Those are my official tips for power outages, but my unofficial tip is crash at family or a friend’s house. They’ll inevitably have one of their own sometime in the future and you can return the favor then. Cheers to air conditioning!