embracing power outages: what do you do in the dark?

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As I write this, the east coast is preparing for a lashing of epic proportions thanks to hurricane Irene. By the time this gets to you, I very well may be without power in my little corner of New York City, but I’m still intrigued. We’ve stocked up on candles and matches, flashlights and batteries, and I’ve even got my camping headlamp (laugh all you want, it comes in handy!) at the ready, so we’re (hopefully) in good shape to ride out the storm, but I’d love to know your game plan when it comes to power outages. Do you have any go to games or traditions you turn to when the lights go out? Any helpful logistical tips to share? Special meals you prepare in advance of big storms? Share in comments! — Sarah C.

Related:
Making a home emergency kit
Do you have a household emergency plan?

From our partners

I have no advice. I miss running water much more than I miss lights. We were mostly prepared and didn’t suffer, but productivity dropped to almost zero for all of Sunday, and we’re still without power. It’s a relief to be at work where I can function, even though I have bad hair today.

I always keep candles in handy at all times

Mike Johnson

What do we do in the dark? Sheesh! Do you really want a step-by-step?

I take it back—there was one creative thing that worked out. I ground coffee beans with my (nonelectric) food mill, and it was just right for the French press (water heated on the propane grill).