Freelance writer with a BA double majoring in Literature and Australian History who loves finding random places of social or historical treasure whilst travelling around visiting festivals, markets and quaint cafes with my husband and baby
Published April 7th 2014
Blackouts and rainy days don't necessarily mean bored kids
Source: John Kerstholt via Wikimedia Commons
The Bureau of Meteorology has just issued storm warnings for your area...so what do you do?
Of course, there are certain practical measures that are common sense and should always be followed in the event of a storm. The Queensland Government recommends:
Obviously we all hope that cyclones and destructive weather events don't occur. Any type of weather warnings, cyclonic weather or floods should be strictly observed with the seriousness and concern that they deserve.
But what about the less serious weather events? The ones that don't cause lasting damage to your home or neighbours but cause a lot of inconvenience?
You've taken the precautions set down by the Queensland Government and you're safe. But as luck would have it, storms often occur late afternoon and into the night leaving the household sitting in the dark without power or flood bound. You're faced with the possibility of a long time at home with no electricity.
Here are my top tips for staying sane during a Queensland storm:
1. If you're a couple with no kids, consider it the perfect opportunity to force the man of the house to participate in a romantic evening at home.
2. If you have a baby, instead of just trying to get the baby to sleep as quickly as possible, take the opportunity of no TV and computer to enjoy your baby. Chat and play with baby, take lots of photos if you have a flash on your camera! Chances are the activity will tire bub out anyway and make bedtime easier. Make sure the bottles are sterilised, water is boiled and food is on hand for easy access.
3. If you're a family, use it as a good chance to have family time. Perhaps a sleepover in the loungeroom with sleeping bags and doonas and pillows.
The easiest way to eliminate storm stress is to prepare and enjoy the variation in your routine.
Get your candles, camping lanterns and torches ready. Kids love torch games - a good one is to make shapes and animals with your hands to reflect on the wall/roof through the torch light. Or cut out cool shapes from card or thick paper and shine the torch through them onto the wall. Don't forget to stock up on batteries!
And while we're on batteries, get out the portable radio and make sure it has good batteries so you can listen to weather and emergency updates, and hear some good tunes while you enjoy family time.
If you're using candles don't forget to follow sensible candle safety habits, keep them away from children, flammable items and sleeping gear and never leave them on when you're asleep.
Gather together an assortment of food and yummy snack foods that won't need refrigeration or heating. If you're known to enjoy a tea or coffee, or have a baby, prepare a thermos of hot water for use if needed.
If you think you'll be left without electricity for a while, buy some ice and put it in the freezer until needed. Keep an esky at the ready, so when the power goes out you can immediately transfer your drinks and food essentials into the esky. Fridges and freezers stay cold for longer when they're not opened, so put your necessities in the esky so the kids aren't constantly opening the fridge when the power goes out. This is a good idea if you're a couple who plan to indulge in a few alcoholic beverages to see the blackout through.
Source: François Philipp via Wikimedia Commons
Take out the board games! Whether you're a couple, a family or a group of flatmates, board games are the perfect way to spend quality time! Stack up a selection of board games at easy reach, and don't forget the playing cards.
Organise a camp out in the lounge or the kids bedroom. Kids will love the excitement of mattresses/air beds on the floor and sleeping bags.
Finally, consider a BBQ for lunch or dinner! Why should a blackout prevent a nice meal? If the wind and rain have gone, and it is safe to bring out the BBQ and deck furniture, then a BBQ could be just the ticket to passing a leisurely few hours in happiness!
All in all, the key to surviving a Queensland storm is to follow the safety advice, prepare and plan, and enjoy the quality time without TV's, computers and gaming consoles.