Surviving a Power Cut

On 3rd January, 2012 it was a public holiday in Scotland but I agreed to turn up for work. However, at 07.00 when I left my house there was a gale blowing and I was unable to cycle the 3.5 miles to work as the wind speed was 100 mph and I would get blown off the bike.

I decided to walk instead and it was terrifying. Not only was the wind very severe, I had to watch for falling masonry as I walked along the pavements, as well as avoiding the objects which had blown onto the streets.

I eventually arrived at work to find panels having been blown off the building and the lights flickering on and off.

It was fortunate that I was at work because at 07.30 the power went off in my street and when I arrived home at 17.00 it was still off – it was only was restored at 20.45 that night.


Many of the neighbours were getting a bit annoyed because they could not watch TV or play games on their computers. However, being used to the outdoors and having spent many days in the hills without electricity, I was able to survive the evening without too much difficulty.

Surviving a Power Cut

Surviving a power cut is quite easy if you have a plan and some equipment ready for this eventuality. Here is my guide to surviving a powercut without getting too stressed.

  • Lighting

During the hours of daylight lights are not essential but may be used if required. When darkness descends, lights are essential to avoid accidents in the house. Candles are quite good but care has to be taken as they may present a fire risk.


Torches are better and the new LED torches will run for longer than the old type ones with bulbs. It is best to stand torches upright and allow the light to reflect off the ceiling. A few small torches situated in different parts of the room are better than one bright one.

I also used a head torch when walking about the house to avoid bumping into things. It is always advisable to keep spare batteries and candles in the house and a box of matches to light them.

  • Entertainment
Kobo eReader
Kobo eReader

With the TV being off, another form of entertainment has to be used. I have a radio with a battery pack which lasts about 12 hours on a charge and this can provide many hours of entertainment.

My Kobo eReader has a small light and I was able to read some of John Buchan’s ‘Greenmantle’ without difficulty.

  • Food and Drink

Always have a backup method of heating water and food. I had to boil up some water using my camping stove to make some tea and for heating some food.

It is always advisable to keep some food in the house which can be heated up quickly or eaten cold.

  • Power Restored? 

Finally, keep a light in the on position so that when the power is restored the lights will come back on to advise you of this.

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