How to survive without power for 7 nights

As many of you know by my complaining, the northeast was hit by a killer storm over a week ago leaving me without power from saturday night until this past saturday night. The week was spent freezing in my apparently poorly insulated house that ranged from 40-46 degrees, and wearing way too many layers of clothing for hanging around indoors. The week without power made me realize how much I really depend on it, not just for heat, but everything else (hairdryers, stove, computer, TV)!

I compiled my top 10 list of ways to survive, in case this ever happens to you.

1. Keep warm wearing whatever you can.
This may mean the crazy wannabe snuggie your mom bought at Macys or a hat, scarf and gloves to bed. It also may mean a layer of 5 shirts: tank top, t shirt, long sleeve, & 2 sweatshirts. Down coats are optional, but also welcome.

2. Find ways to keep yourself occupied
The first full day without power we dragged a table & chairs out to the driveway for a cranium challenge while taking on a bucket of beer packed with snow. Stopping at any local store that actually has power is recommended to stock up on games if you don't have any. We added Skip Bo & Yahtzee to the collection.

3. Learn to live your life out of duffle bags
Every day I packed my Vera Bradley duffle with clean clothes and shower stuff and my black Pink bag with workout gear. They were crammed into my front seat for workouts and showers wherever I could get them in. I recommend spending 15 minutes at night to get everything packed up to avoid chaos in the morning.

4. Get creative with your cooking
Without a stove to cook on, or a microwave or crock pot to heat up food, we had one resort left, the grill! Once the novelty of eating out wore off after the first 2 nights, we made some yummy grill dinners. Teriyaki chicken burgers, and BBQ chicken pizza straight on the grill. We were getting ready to grill shrimp and chicken, when we ran out of gas. This means, drive to your mom's house and use hers.

5. Never yell at your mom for her Yankee Candle obsession
Someday, that massive candle collection may benefit you. Then, you casually mention that you could use a few, and you'll get to smell and pick a few out, just like at the store. We literally could see perfectly throughout my mom's house when we went over for dinner, Thanks mom!

6. Don't be afraid to shower in random places
Take advantage of hot power and electricity for a blow dryer. Any gym with power is a great option. I showered at a gym a few towns over, at my mom's, my gym and a cold shower at home between it all. Amazingly, the best ones were at the gym after a good workout.

7. Layer the bed
Even if its 40 degrees inside, it could be 80 degrees under the covers! My preferred layering method? Flannel sheets, 2 fleece blankets, soft cozy blanket, down comforter, extra comforter.

8. Enjoy breakfasts out
When Panera regained power, I couldn't wait to get something yummy for breakfast! Before this I was trying to survive on cereal, which does not keep me full. Eating habits vary greatly when your regular routine is disrupted. I managed to stay mostly in control, avoiding candy, and bringing leftovers to work.

9. Keep your smartphone charged at all times
Without my iphone, I would have been ridiculously disconnected from the world. Storm updates, power company updates, emails, blogs, facebook. I found random places to charge it, Friendly's, the gym, work, the 99, and finally once I got a car charger, there. A smartphone is an essential in my book.

10. Be nice to your neighbors
See that electric truck behind the shed? It started doing work after my creepy neighbor offered the electric guys weed & beer. Not sure if thats why my power came back an hour or so later, but I couldn't be happier!

After the outage, we ordered a gas lamp, and are planning on stocking up on flashlights, candles, extra blankets, and I'm angling for a headlamp for running that could double as a light in emergency situations.  
Any tips or recommendations?


Elle said...

Wow! A whole week - that WAS hard.

We did without power for 3 days once in the winter. We actually managed to heat up 2 rooms with a ton of candles burning.

Not fun! Glad things are back to normal for you now.

Great post, though - hope you never need to refer back to it!

Wells L said...

Wow girl - what a challenge. I love your creativity. Hang in there.

Running Ricig said...

I love this! I'm so glad you have power back. My husband always makes fun of me for all of my candles, but when we were without power, I could pretty much light up the entire house for DAYS with candles. He wasn't complaining then!

Lisa said...

Seven days is a LONG TIME without power!

Alyssa said...

Wow, a week without power while it's snowing outside? I can't even imagine that! In September, the power went out all through San Diego County for 6 hours and it turned out to be a lot of fun. We turned to our emergency radio for updates, our camping stove to cook, and our headlamps. Some neighbors lit fires in their outdoor fire pits.

I'm glad that you made it through the power outage!

Suz and Allan said...

Great list! I echo everything you said with one addition. Batteries! You can't have too many for flashlights or battery powered radios (they do still exist!).

Glad you guys have power back!

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Molly said...

wow! You definitely handled that as best as you could! Love the bucket of beer, and I was cracking up over the yankee candles : )

Abby Guarente said...

Seven days is a LONG TIME without power!

Kimberly said...

Wow girl - what a challenge. I love your creativity. Hang in there.