Do you know what to do when the lights go out? How do you get light when you don’t have a flashlight? How do you keep your food cold?
Of course, in developed nations like the US, power outages are infrequent but they still happen. Mother Nature is to blame for a full 70% of them.
Mother Nature packs a powerful punch. Even with all the technological advances we’ve made, there are still times when she gets the best of us.
Winter storms cause most of the power outages Mother Nature is responsible for. Although there are some that happen because of hurricanes or heatwaves.
To make it through a power outage from a winter storm, you’ll need a few things. Light, heat, water, and a way to keep your food cold–among others. You can use these 10 power outage hacks to get them.
1. DIY Lantern
You may not think that you need light to survive until you don’t have it. Human beings are not nocturnal and there’s a reason for that.
We like light and modern homes get very dark when the power goes out. You’ll only trip over the chair a few times before deciding to give this hack a try.
This is an easy way to give a room ambient light. Find an empty gallon jug, like those ones that milk comes in.
Fill it with water and strap a headlamp to it with the light shining into the jug. The water will refract the light and send it everywhere. Set the jug on something elevated to send shadows scurrying.
Don’t have a headlamp? A flashlight will do as well. Choose a smaller one that you can tape onto the opening of the jug.
2. Create a Crayon Candle
What do you do for light when you’re out of candles and batteries? You ask your kid for their least favorite color crayon. This is one of the more ingenious of our power outage hacks.
Light the pointy end of the crayon and let the wax melt onto something disposable. A paper plate will do. When the flame reaches the paper stick the crayon into the wax on the plate so that it stands up. Voila! Now you’ve got a clever little candle.
Don’t ever leave your crayon candle unattended. It is a potential fire hazard.
3. Use Your Solar Lights
This is one of more simple power outage hacks. Round up any solar lights you have in your yard. Leave them outside or by a window to charge up during the day. Even if the sun is not strong they’ll still get a bit of a charge.
Then you can use them around the house in the evening for light. The nice thing about these is that, unlike other forms of light, they are not a fire hazard.
4. Turn Your Washer into a Cooler
If your power goes out for more than a day or two, you will have to do something with your food. The freezer won’t keep your food frozen without electricity.
If long power outages are frequent in your area, you may want to consider a more sophisticated option. You may want to buy a nice generator like these models on Source Power Solutions.
But if you’re in a pinch, there’s a hack for that! If there’s snow you can put your food outside in a snowbank. But it may draw unwanted attention from the furry types in your neighborhood.
Instead, fill your washer with snow or ice to turn it into a cooler. You don’t have to clean up the water as it melts because it will run down the drain.
5. Candle Cooking
There are many effective methods of cooking during a power outage. A gas stove or an outdoor grill are both awesome. But if you simply want to heat up a cup of tea, you can do it over a candle.
6. Rocket Stove
Did you know that you can build a stove out of food cans? You’ll just need one big #10 can and four smaller ones. You’ll be eating canned food anyway so you should have cans on hand.
Add a little vermiculite and you’ve got a heat source. Plus, it will be faster to cook over this baby than over the candle.
7. Button Up Your House
Keeping warm during a power outage can be a challenge. Many people only have electric heat sources these days.
Conserve heat by blocking any drafts. You can buy or make draft stoppers or roll up a few towels. Stuff them under doors and along windowsills. This won’t make heat, but it will help you keep in what you have.
8. Camp Indoors
A great way to stay warm at night (and entertain your kids) is to camp indoors. Set up a tent in the living room and snuggle up inside with lots of blankets.
The extra body heat will keep you all toasty warm. This is a great idea to do anytime! Your kids, or your sweetie, will enjoy an evening of spontaneity and fun. There’s an extra parenting hack for you.
9. Use Snow for Water
Most of the time power outages don’t include water outages. But if you’re in a pinch you can use fresh snow.
Most consider it safe for drinking, but if you’re nervous you can boil it for 10 minutes. At the very least you can use it for flushing the toilet when necessary.
10. Battery Converter
Many flashlights and emergency devices work on double A batteries. If you run out, you can convert triple A’s with some aluminum foil from the kitchen. Ball up a piece and stuff it between the device and the negative end of the battery.
Try These Power Outage Hacks
Whether your power is out for a couple hours or a couple days these power outage hacks will come in handy. Try a few and see how it goes.
If you need more ideas for life hacks in general, be sure to check out our site. We have tons of hacks and tips to help with everything from parenting to business solutions.