You are sitting at home late on a winter's evening, and the lights go off. First, you need to figure out the source of the outage. After that, you have time to kill until things are fixed. Fortunately, you can take a few steps to stay safe and comfortable while you are waiting for service to be restored.
Determine the Source
If you are the only house with the lights off and you have paid your utility bill, you can be reasonably sure that the problem lies with your home's system or the lines running to your house. Sometimes, these lines are the responsibility of the electric company. If you live in an area where this is the case, you need to call the utility company if they are down or appear damaged. If the lines do not appear to be the problem, you should check your fuse box to make certain the circuit breaker hasn't flipped and that your fuses are okay. If the circuits appear to be okay, you should call a twenty-four electrical service, like Direct Current, for an expert opinion.
In addition to wearing multiple layers of clothing, you can take a hot shower. The water will stay warm for a while even after the power goes off, so take advantage of it. Also, you can use rescue or "space" blankets to keep the heat in one room. You can tape or staple them on the walls and ceiling of a small room and keep the heat in.
Chances are you won't be getting any sleep until everything is repaired. You'll be waiting for the electrician and then waiting for things to be repaired. While you wait, you can keep your family entertained. If you have a fireplace, get it going. It will help keep the house warm, and you can cuddle up and tell stories. You might even try roasting some marshmallows. Even without a fireplace, you can turn the darkness into family time. Try playing board games by flashlight. Use the experience as a way to catch up on each other's lives.
When your power goes out, it doesn't have to be a really unpleasant experience. First, you need to determine if it's an area shortage or just your residence. If your home is the problem, check your circuits first and then call an electrician if necessary. Be sure to stay warm while you wait, and take the opportunity to share some family time. With a little luck and a skilled electrician, you should have your power back in no time.