In Ireland it’s not that uncommon to experience a few power cuts a year — especially in rural areas. 😉 Sometimes they’ll last for a few hours; at other times it might take a few days until the problem is solved. Although most of the times it cannot be predicted, it’s always good to be prepared for such a situation. Today I’m going to talk about which things come in handy when electricity is gone.
Most of the power cuts took us by surprise, they came without any prior notice and weren’t predicted. That’s why, since we are living in Ireland, we bought more and more things that ease the time until power comes back.
Light in the Evening
We have a large amount of tea lights and candles at home. It’s good to store them in a place with fast and easy access — especially in darkness. Tea lights are available in different “sizes” (burning time) e.g. 2 hours, 4 hours, 8 hours. Use a heatproof glass or tea light holder. Pillar candles, placed in a big lantern or glass with shade, look beautiful and add a good amount of light into the room. I find taper candles are the best way to lighten up a dark room. But you’ll need to keep a good eye on them.
If you do not like candles or an open fire, you could use a rechargeable LED lamp instead. It can be charged by USB plug, by cranking it up or by solar.
Heat/Boil: Food and Water
One of the houses we rented while living in Dublin had a gas hob in its kitchen. The modern ones have an igniter to light up the hob. However, when there is no electricity available you can carefully light it up by match or lighter.
Many rental homes only have an electric hob, though. Then an additional wood-burning stove really comes in handy. I still miss the one we’ve had in Germany very much 😦 If you have neither, get a camping-/gas cooker and use it to warm up meals.
By the way, if you buy a camping cooker get one that will connect to a regular gas bottle. It’s either already equipped to hook up to the gas or else you will need to get a hose, clamps and a regulator for it. This will help you to save money because the small disposable gas bottles do not last as long and you will end up spending more on gas in the long run. To find out more about these gas cookers, ask the expert in your store.
Heating & Keeping Warm
With the help of a gas hob you can warm up and cook meals and bring water to a boil (to make tea and coffee). Drinking hot beverages will keep you warm from the inside. You can also use hot water to fill up the good old hot-water bottle; or pour it into the wash basin so you can wash yourself with cozy warm instead of freezing cold water. 😉
Blankets are great to have for the cold nights. Use them on the sofa and/or in bed. If you can, get some sleeping bags, too. They’ll keep you warm during the night when temperatures drop.
In case of a power cut during the day you could get one of these:
We’ve bought one a few years ago. (In 2018) They cost an average of €100 + about €30 for a fill of the bottle of gas (excluding deposit for the bottle). For safety reasons don’t use these during the night!
When we moved from Dublin to this rural area we smiled at the radio the landlords had left behind. It was a wind up radio! But, believe it or not, we have used it quite a few times while living in that house!
All these great reports about the weather and current situation you find online will not help when there is no electricity (and the batteries are dead on the smartphone 😉 ) and no internet available. That’s when you are grateful for such things as a crank up radio.
If you cannot find one that is rechargeable (through electricity when available, to wind up or solar-powered) then get one that uses batteries. But, remember then that you will also need a good supply of batteries at home. 😉
Does anybody remember the good old board games? They need no electricity, are easily stored away and fun to play.
- Batteries (Radio)
- Matches and/or lighter
- Baby wipes (handy especially when options to wash the body are very limited)
- Canister or empty plastic bottles filled with water (not for drinking but for every day cleaning and toilet flushing purposes)
- Car converter (to charge smartphone/s, laptop, LED lamp, etc.)
- Food: instant coffee, tins (soup/stew, tomatoes, beans, peas, etc.)