Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
THERE IS A STORM IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD!
In our son’s favorite episode of Daniel Tiger, the learning lesson song is, “Take a grown-up’s hand, follow the plan, and you’ll be safe.”
We recently had a power outage and I realized two things:
- As the grown-up, I did not have a plan!
- In the panic of the moment, my rational brain was out the window! I got swept up in the chaos of the power outage rather than staying focused on keeping our kids safe–having a power outage plan would go a long way to removing that panic and having the rational brain intact.
We are deep in the DC Area Summer Days of Thunder. Rather than waiting for your brain to go out along with the power, spend a few minutes now doing some quick shopping to stock up on these essential items.
Power Outage Essentials
- You have flashlights and lanterns and extra batteries on hand, but do you have a headlamp? Moms often hear, “you sure have your hands full!” but try carrying a baby or changing a diaper while holding a flashlight. Search for “camping headlamp”, price range $15-$50.
- You can charge your cell phone in your car but if you have no wifi and you’ve killed your data plan, a non-cordless landline telephone is your best backup. I do think landline phones are money-pit dinosaurs, but as millennials are becoming moms, having a landline is a good safety practice on any given day. Price varies.
- A crank-operated emergency radio for any news alerts or weather bulletins–you can keep informed without keeping your nose in your phone rather than giving all of your attention to your kids. Price range $20-$50.
- When it is winter, a fireplace to stay warm and in this summer heat, a camping fan to stay cool. Battery-operated or rechargeable fans available in various size, $15-$90.
- DO NOT use candles since they pose a fire risk. Have additional large light sources available, like lanterns and flashlights, that do not post extreme risk of fire and injury to small children. Price range $15-$53.
Aside from power outage preparation, also have a plan for best practices.
- Try to stay calm and present for your kids. It’s not easy. In the same way you have a first aid kit, or a restaurant entertainment kit, have activities ready to distract everyone–cards, board games, Table Topics question cards.
- Emergency evacuation plan to your nearest hotel, especially if you have small children. When our daughter was only a few days old, we experienced a summer power outage in Texas–the house was just too hot for a new baby, so to the hotel we go.
- Also, involve your kids! Let them know if there is ever a power outage (or any emergency), what the plan is and how the family is prepared to handle the situation.
This is by no means emergency disaster preparedness. This is preparedness for an inconvenient summer storm. Of course you are going to have food and water because as every mom knows, snacks make everything possible! Stay safe, y’all.
If you have been through a power outage, what items did you find most useful? Please share in the comments below!