Sunday 7 February 2016

30 Tips to Survive a Power Cut

Twice recently we have had power cuts.  A few weeks ago the hedge trimming machine cut through the electricity wire in the village and earlier this week we had a planned outage whilst EDF did some vital maintenance work on the line.  Both times we quickly realised how reliant we have become on electricity and to not have it can be a right pain in the whatsit.  However there are things you can do to make it easier to survive when you are plunged back into the Dark Ages!

30 Tips to Survive a Power Cut

At any time

  • Know exactly where you can find torches/camping lamps/candles.
  • Keep in a supply of the correct torch batteries as well as lighters or matches.

Before a Planned Outage Occurs 

  • Get torches etc out and ready to use - our electricity went out when it was s till dark!
  • Charge up phones etc and back up all your work on the computer.  I spent an hour yesterday uploading the gite to a French booking website taking ages to translate everything only to have the power to blip out for a second and I lost the lot.  When I started again I saved every 5 minutes!!
  • Freezers work best when full so, if necessary, a few days beforehand fill them up with plastic bottles filled with water (with head space to allow for expansion).
  • The day before the planned outage set your freezer and fridge to a slightly colder than normal temperature
  • As the power goes out add some pre-frozen freezer blocks into the fridge to help keep it cold
  • Think about how you'll cook if your cooker is all electric - get in some food supplies that don't need cooking i.e. cake - a power cut is no time to be dieting!
  • Check that elderly and infirm neighbours have everything they need
  • Boil up some water and keep it in a flask for hot drinks.

When the Power goes Out

  • First check it isn't simply your trip switch that has gone
  • Check on elderly and infirm neighbours

Heating - If yours isn't working:

  • Keep doors and windows closed to retain heat
  • Wear several thinner layers rather than one thick one to keep warm
  • Wear mittens, extra warm socks and a hat - most heat is lost through your head.
  • Do something energetic to keep warm
  • All snuggle up under the same duvet for an evening of spooky story telling


  • If your oven is gas you can cook but any automatic lighting systems won't work so you'll need  a lighter or matches.
If your cooker is all electric you'll need to find alternatives:
  • Use a camping stove but ONLY outside
  • Light the BBQ
  • Eat out or get in a take-away if local restaurants have power
  • Eat salads - possibly a better option in the summer!


  • Play games by candle-light
  • Read a book - head torches are good for this.
  • In the daytime move closer to the window to get the best light
  • Open the fridge and freezer as little as possible
  • If it is cold, store food outside in covered containers but not if it is below freezing.  
  • Carefully check that food has not gone off as it may well not store as long as the temperature inside the fridge rises.
  • Enjoy the technology-free time.
  • If all else fails and you can, debunk to friends and family who have power or the local shopping centre, cafĂ©, library etc.

Electricity always seems to go off at the most inconvenient time although to be honest I am not sure there is ever a convenient time.  With luck these tips will make your time in the dark ages a bit easier to cope with.  Have you any other tips to add or have you any interesting power cut stories to recount?

You Baby Me Mummy


  1. Oh we've had power cuts on and off yesterday which lasted from about an hour to two. Thankfully, T didn't seem to mind and by the time we were about to go to sleep... Guess what, the power came back ;) #abitofeverything.

    1. Glad it came back on - it is OK for a while but not for any length of time.

  2. Such great advice for anyone who is hit by the power cuts due to this awful weather or anything else. #abtofeverything

  3. Some good tips here...We used to have lots of power cuts when I was a child in the 70's and you forget what a pain in the bum it can be. With these storms occurring more often we should all be clued up on how best to survive a cut. Good post. #abitofeverything

    1. I remember those too - homework done by candlelight. At least we were lucky and had an Aga to heat the house and cook on. It was much harder for others :(

  4. Hi Rosie, Greece used to be terrible for power cuts, but it's not so bad these days and usually only happens when there is work being done or during a really hot summer when everyone is trying to run their air cons at the same time!

    You've shared some great tips, we have windup torches situated around the house for when it does go off. Even though we have a wood burning fire, I always feel cold when the power is off in winter, so usually wrap up warmer.

    Backing up work is a must, even when the electric is not playing up. I bet there is not a blogger who hasn't learned the hard way!


    1. Ah yes - wind up torches are a good idea. I based my tips mostly on winter power cuts but of course food storage and keeping cool becomes much harder with a summer outage. And back up at ANY time of year LOL

  5. Handy tips! We have had a couple but the first one, we were in such a panic! We also have the hand-wound torchlights as well, just in case we run out of batteries! There was also another time when it went out during dinner and I had nothing to feed the kids! So now I also make sure I always have dry food like cereal or bread, that won't require cooking. There's nothing worse than hungry kids who are bored!! Thanks for sharing with #abitofeverything

    1. Definitely a good idea to have food in that doesn't need cooking.

  6. Fab tips! Thanks for linking up to #thelist x


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