Saturday, September 10, 2011

How to have a blackout party

When the lights go out you can either sit around in candlelight waiting for them to come back on or you can do what we did, make the best of the situation and have a blackout party.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Mood lighting such as candles and battery operated paper lanterns.
  • Fully charged laptop or battery operated radio/ipod dock; basically something to play music on which could include an acoustic guitar or other instruments for the musically inclined.
  • BBQ with fuel/charcoal.
  • Food that you have to eat so it doesn't go bad (our neighbors bought a bunch of meat minutes before the power went out).
  • Flashlights or headlamp to actually see what you're doing.
  • Neighbors or friends that are always down to party.
  • Cash to buy any needed supplies from the local liquor store (ice, beer, batteries, etc.).  By the way, you need to do this ASAP before places close up shop for the night or they sell out of what you need.  
  • Chairs to bring outdoors since now you can actually see the stars without the normal light pollution.
  • Some form of entertainment.  For us this included a light-up frisbee and exercise ball.
  • Sharing, cooperation, and a positive outlook (worrying about what will happen isn't any fun).

- Avoid driving if possible, many people were stuck in traffic for hours.
- Don't go to Target.  The only place with generators and open for people during the night  is not somewhere you want to be since that's where everyone else in the city will be.  
- Having a radio or a smartphone that connects to the internet can be important for getting those essential updates (a car charger for your phone can also come in handy).  
- Being prepared for any situation will leave you in a much better position than not and you'll be able to stay calm and maybe have some fun. 
- Ironically the massive southwest power outage occurred during National Preparedness Month and SDGE emailed out the electric bills that morning.

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