10 Things You Can Do When the Power is Out (Besides Make Babies ;)

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There’s one thing people enjoy doing when the power is out, and if you don’t believe me just show up to the nearest hospital 9 months later. There is often about a 20% increase in babies born, or in Hurricane Sandy’s case, about a 30% increase.

After natural disasters that force many to stay at home, and large metro area power outages that strand millions, about 9 months later there is a mini baby boom. – Florida News Journal

Nothing is wrong with enjoying each other when the power is out, but what do you do with the rest of your time?

After going through our first hurricane and losing power, I quickly realized practically EVERYTHING I do requires electricity. Entertaining kids was difficult (they’re iPad addicts), I couldn’t get any work done without a computer, and even chatting with friends was not an option without cell phones working.

With hurricane season here and the chance of being without power increasing, you might want to have a few ideas up your sleeve so you’re not twiddling your thumbs. It gets real boring – believe me! Every day without electricity felt like 100, especially when your neighbors get power back before you do and you can’t help but stare at them in envy!

10 Things You Can Do When the Power is Out

Here are 10 ideas I’ve come up with, but I would love to have you add to my list in the comments! The more ideas the better!

#1 – Take a Nap

I won’t lie, this is the first thing I did when the power went out, but it’s usually what I do whenever I have some extra time. 😉 Go ahead and let yourself relax and catch-up on sleep. Let’s face it, most of us could use a little more!

#2 – Meet Your Neighbors

Kuddos to you if you know your neighbors already, but if you don’t, get out of your house and meet them. There really isn’t a better time to get to know your neighbors than when the power is out and everyone is forced outside anyways.

#3 – Play Games (the old-fashioned kind)

With Wii’s, iPads, and Playstations, we sometimes forget that not all games that aren’t hooked to an outlet exist. Find some fun games your family enjoys (think hide and seek, but the ones in the link are ones you probably don’t already know), or be creative and invent your own!

#4 – Write a Letter

When’s the last time you wrote a letter, with a pen and paper? I”m sure you can think of someone who would appreciate knowing you were thinking of them. You can also take this time to write in (or start) a journal!

#5 – Sort through closets and cupboards

Surely your home has at least a few closets and cupboards that are downright scary to open! There’s nothing like a day full of nothing to do to get those spaces cleaned out. Your first step will be to remove everything from the entire cupboard or closet, or, if it’s too scary, just one shelf at a time. Sort through each item and handle each only one time. Make your decisions right on the spot as to its fate: throw away, give away, sell, or keep. Download this free organization guide for complete instructions!

#6 – Practice Survival Skills

This is a great time to take the kids outside and teach them a thing or two about survival (or even work on a few skills yourself)! Here’s a list of 48 skills you can print off and have ready for when the power goes out.

#7 – Read an Actual Paper Book

With Audible and e-books becoming so popular, not as many people have a library of books in their home. If this is the case for you, make sure you get a few books to read because they will become your best friend! Check out this list of books related to survival and preparedness and this one for kids of all ages.

#8 – Make a Shopping List

Chances are you’ll start to realize you don’t have everything you need – especially when the stores are closed! This is a great time to take inventory of what you have (or don’t have) and make a shopping list.

#9 – Get Outside

Go on a walk, take a bike ride, work in the garden, or even play flashlight tag once it gets dark. Sometimes we don’t appreciate the outdoors enough – I know I don’t!

#10 – Organize Your Preps

Sometimes getting organized is one of those things that keeps getting pushed down to the bottom of your to-do list! Well…when you don’t have anything else to do, take advantage and finally get it crossed off!


Don’t forget to make a printed list of all the things you can do when the power is out, because you won’t have the internet when it does! Better yet, put a box together filled with games, books, and this list for the times you’re without power. Unless you enjoy making babies, then by all means…just do that. 😉

What do you do When the Power is Out?

If you’re really brave, go ahead and do a practice run to see if you can go a day or two without electricity! This will really give you great insight on how well your family can handle being electronic free.

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I'm the original Survival Mom and for more than 11 years, I've been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more with my commonsense prepping advice.

13 thoughts on “10 Things You Can Do When the Power is Out (Besides Make Babies ;)”

  1. #5 if you have an electric stove this one won’t work to well. I’d go with build a fire in a pit or your grill and make the popcorn or s’mores

  2. If you’re dependent on charcoal for your no-electric meals, don’t wait until everyone’s starving before getting the grill started! Nothing makes the family crankier than being without both electricity AND having to wait for a hot meal. For entertainment, we play Uno, because the cards can still be seen when lit by lantern light. We also turn power outages into picnics or “camping trips”, depending on the weather. We’ll spread the red & white checked tablecloth on the living room floor and eat around it, sometimes pretending to roast marshmallows over a lantern. It’s been years since I’ve had to deal with a power outage of more than 12 hours, so it’s easy for us to treat it like a game. Not sure what we’d do if we lived in hurricane territory.

  3. We never had the power go out but sometimes we would plAy hide the thimble or we would take turns reading a word from the dictionary and everyone would try to guess the meaning. Both were pretty fun games.

  4. Another activity I enjoy is putting together a puzzle. Have a variety of puzzles and sizes so everyone can work on them. Art supplies like crayons, color pencils, coloring books, drawing paper, scissors, and glue sticks will help pass the time. Write a journal about what has happened and how you are coping. Everyone can contribute or write their own.

  5. I don’t have electricity. My car charges my computer. I’m only bored on rainy days I can’t work. Losing power is not the big deal people make it out to be. I have firewood to cut, chores to do, kitties to play with. Right now I’m clearing off a few trees on my new property to make a homestead. Kids only become gizmo addicts if you let them. People have lived for centuries without electric power, and some still choose to do so. Stop treating loss of electric power as a big deal.

  6. Lived through a major typhoon in Guam when I was 7 years old. My brother and I played Pachinko by candlelight! Not only was the power out for weeks, the water was off for a while too. Running water became available shortly, but it wasn’t safe for drinking (we could bathe and wash clothes, tho!) We washed clothes in the bathtub, agitating them by stomping them. We did grill out a lot.

  7. Several years ago, this area was without power for 19 days due to an ice storm.( that was the longest time, some had power b ack in just a few days, but others were longer.) Except for the downed trees in their woodlots, the local Amish were not affected.

  8. I had to laugh that people would actually need a list of ideas of things to do! I have so many things on the back burner to get done, I would welcome uninterrupted time! As beholdenages wrote, there are still chores to be done and as singlemom wrote, meals will take extra thought and time.
    Our children do not watch TV ( except during football season) , have limited electronic gadget
    time, read actual books, love board games, puzzles and card games. They have chores. They love the outdoors and no matter what the weather ( only exception, lightening) they play outside at least an hour a day…yes, we stomp in puddles and make mud castles, go sledding and build snow forts, rake leaves and jump in the piles, collect bugs and plant gardens, in addition to sports, bike riding and such. When we lose power, the day goes on as usual but the night is fun with glow stick baths, shadow puppet theatre and reading by flashlight.

  9. Besides reading and doing things in the kitchen that don’t require too many dishes, When the power goes out I can still sew. I was given a treadle sewing machine that I have always wanted and it is right in front of my living room window, ready to sew if I want to, no matter what the power status is. It might only do straight stitching, but that’s enough for me. I have many quilt projects ready fro chain piecing. I can even do quilting if I want. My projects are all functional: quilts, mug rugs, placemats, clothes. There’s no end to the things you can make with a sewing machine.

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