The Hippo


Apr 20, 2019








Power failure
How to make the most of a power outage

By Ryan Lessard

 If there’s a storm in the forecast, prepare for the worst and then seize the opportunity to have a rare kind of fun — the kind our ancestors called “family time.”

The state Department of Safety issued a list of safety tips before the late December snowstorm on how to make sure you are prepared for a storm-caused power outage. Here are some of the key recommendations.
Emergency kit: Create a winter emergency supply kit that’s stocked with enough provisions to last at least three to five days. It should include some non-perishable food, bottled water, flashlights, extra batteries and a portable radio. Also make sure it includes a first aid kit, a surplus cache of critical prescription medicines (ask your prescriber for extras in case of emergency), a manual can opener, any necessary baby-care items, extra blankets, sleeping bags and a fire extinguisher. Some non-perishable foods can include canned goods, dried fruits and nuts. Make sure you have a gallon of water per person per day. And it doesn’t hurt to add a little more than what’s needed for your typical household size. An emergency can happen when you have guests too.
Other supplies: For heavy snowfall events, always stock your home with rock salt to melt ice, sand to improve traction, and snow shovels. Keep fire extinguishers on hand in case an alternative heating source starts a fire, and make sure everyone knows how to use them.
Extra water: If your water can be shut off by a loss of power (like with a well-water pump system) prepare for a possible storm outage by filling your bathtub and other spare water containers like buckets. Use it for sanitation reasons only. Do not drink the bathtub water. Pouring a bucket of water from the tub into the toilet can enable it to flush.
Heating: Make sure you have sufficient heating fuel since regular sources may be cut off. Keep alternative heating options such as a gas fireplace, wood-burning stove or fireplace. All you need is to keep one room livable, but make sure it’s well-ventilated.
Carbon Monoxide: Make sure your carbon monoxide detectors are working and have fresh batteries. Check any outside fuel exhaust vents to make sure they’re not blocked by snow or ice.
Pipe freezing: Try to prevent your pipes from freezing by wrapping them in insulation or layers of newspaper. Cover the newspaper with plastic to keep out moisture, and let faucets drip. 
If the pipes freeze anyway, remove the insulation, open all faucets completely and pour hot water over the pipes starting with the coldest spot. A handheld dryer might also work. 
Sandy Whipple, the adult services and outreach coordinator at Goffstown Public Library, said when the power goes out, the first thing you can turn to for keeping your mind busy is a good book. You can read individually or as family or read the news and share thoughts about it.
“There’s nothing like ... talking about the last best book that you’ve read,” Whipple said.
Or you can play a game.
“In terms of anything beyond the reading, things that we might suggest would be the good ol’ board games, and they tend to be very popular whether there’s a power outage or not,” Whipple said.
Carol Eyman, outreach coordinator at Nashua Public Library, said the board game Clue is fun for ages 9 and up and even comes in a Harry-Potter-themed version.
“You have to use analytical skills,” Eyman said. “It’s a great exercise in logic for kids and the fact that they’re solving a crime makes it fun.”
Another game she recommends for a family of varying age groups is Cranium.
“Cranium is great when you have a group of people of different ages and different abilities because there’s different things you have to do, like … word puzzles and … some of the tasks require you to draw,” Eyman said.
If you don’t own some of these board games, another option is to play the Dictionary Game, which only requires a dictionary and some writing material. Players take turns picking an obscure word from the dictionary and writing down the definition. Other players must write down plausible-sounding incorrect definitions. If you guess the right definition, you get a point and if you guess a false definition, its author gets the point.
There’s a similar game Eyman said is called Liebrary. Instead of a word, you pick out a book off the bookshelf and read the summary to the other players. Then they have to write down a plausible first line in the book based on what they know. The rules from there are the same.
People of all ages enjoy the serenity and simple creativity of coloring. And Whipple said it’s growing in popularity among adults.
“There are coloring books in almost every grocery store checkout line these days. People are just finding that they’re able to leave their adult at the door and just revisit a favorite childhood activity,” Whipple said. “You don’t have to think about anything, you don’t have to really create; you’re just playing with the colors.”
Certain crafts can also pass the time, such as crocheting, knitting or weaving things like Scottish tartans.
“You talk about analog activities, that’s really it,” Whipple said. 

®2019 Hippo Press. site by wedu