The arctic blast that I wrote about last week hit and a lot of unexpected things happened, one of which is over 1 million Houston area residents going without electricity.
If you're in this group, keep reading to learn about some things you can do whens you go without power.
For our family, we were powerless for 50 hours, the longest I have ever been without electricity. It happened at 5:30am about two days ago.
The power went out.
It was interesting because at the time it wasn't particularly stormy. The snow wasn't coming down like crazy, it wasn't super windy, etc.
So I was surprised the power went out.
I stayed up super late that day so after power went out I fell asleep shortly after and when I awoke a few hours later, I was surprised that the power was still off.
It was a few hours later when I learned that the power outage was not a rolling outage that the news had warned residents about.
In fact, it was a deliberate action done by the power companies to conserve power, as the entire power grid in our state (Texas) was under a lot of strain.
Here are some things I did and some things you can do to keep your sanity when you don't have electricity.
1. Stay Warm
This was difficult as the temperatures outside dipped to 14 degrees at their coldest. When our electricity finally came back on, the house was at 41 degrees.
In our two story home, the heat rose to the second level (what little heat we had).
We stayed warmed doing the following:
- Huddle in one room in the home with the door closed
- Kept other rooms closed
- Drew curtains to keep heat in and home insulated
- Lit candles as a heat source
- Used flashlights for light
- Layered our clothing
- Slept together in one bed (me and my partner plus our child)
Staying warm is so important in this situation because hyperthermia can set in if you're not careful.
Between doing this and running to our car a few times a day to warm up in our vehicle, we were able to avoid getting sick and stayed as warm as we could.
If you can get internet access with your phone, go to Tik Tok, as there are a lot of hacks for warmth and power outages that people who experience this often are sharing.
2. Use your Stove
Do you have a gas stove? If you do, you are in luck.
While no power could be used in our stove, the gas was still functioning, which meant we could turn on a burner on the stovetop, and light it with our stick lighter.
Instantly, our stovetop started working which means we could heat meals, make food, boil water, and more.
If you're so lucky to be in this situation, take advantage.
3. Be smart when power comes back on
While this didn't happen to my family, it did happen to a friend of mine and if it happens to you, do these things.
The power came back on for my friend after 12 hours and while it was short-lived, meaning it only lasted a few hours before and cut back off again, use those golden hours when you have electricity and take advantage of it to do this.
First, charge your devices.
This can include your computer or your cell phone, tablets, or anything else that needs to be charged.
While that's happening, take an inventory of your home and take care of anything that you need to while you have electricity.
That means while the lights are on, you can clean or tidy up, take out the trash, and check on the garage, empty out your fridge or any other things, and do those housekeeping items. You wouldn't realize how difficult it is to do something as simple as taking out the trash when it's pitch-black and you can't see a thing, even with a flashlight.
During this time when you have power restored, consider it short-lived as it very well may be.
Next, think about entertainment and consider downloading audio books or music from Spotify or Apple Music or other places. Really get yourself set up here because this is a good opportunity to prepare so don't lose your mind in boredom if the power gets turned off again.
Warm your home up of course and continue keeping rooms closed and your home insulated, to keep heat in, the best you can. And these are a few of the things you should do when power comes back on.