Tips to survive an evening without power

Here are some creative ideas to help you safely manage dinner, entertainment and bedtime without power.

Experiencing a power outage can be challenging, but with a little creativity, your evening can still be comfortable and enjoyable. Here are some ideas to help you and your family manage dinner, entertainment and bedtime without the comforts of electrical appliances.

If you are a life support customer experiencing a power outage, please activate your emergency plan. This is the plan you created with your medical practitioner to use during a power outage. You can call our life support priority line anytime on 1800 818 832.

Planning dinner without electricity

Try some of these dinner ideas:

  • Gas BBQ
    A gas BBQ is a great way to cook your dinner, including any perishables, so your food doesn’t go to waste. Never move your BBQ indoors, as it’s not safe.
  • No-cook recipes
    You can find lots of great no-cook recipe ideas on the internet, like rice paper rolls, vegetable tacos and salads.
  • Fondue
    If you have a non-electric fondue set, you can make cheese or chocolate fondue. It’s a great way to use up your perishables, and a fun way to keep the family entertained too. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for your safety.
  • Re-think traditional hot favourites
    Instead of cooking your oats for breakfast, you can soak them in water.
  • Eat out
    If you can safely leave the house, visit friends and family for a meal, order take-away or dine out if this is an option for you.

For safety tips when cooking with no power, visit the Victorian Department of Health website.

Staying in your home overnight without power

If it’s safe to stay in your house during a power outage, there are ways you can make your evening at home more comfortable.

Safety tips:

  • Choose battery-operated lights
    Flameless candles are safer than traditional candles, as they are battery operated and can be left unattended. You can buy them at major department stores and popular online stores. If you use traditional candles, never leave them unattended, especially around pets and children.
  • Know how to manually operate your electric doors and gates
    If you have any electric doors and gates, like a garage door, make sure you know how to manually open and close these doors so you can easily do this during an outage, especially if you need to leave your home. Contact the installer or manufacturer for help.
  • Assume all fallen powerlines are live
    If you leave the house, stay away from fallen powerlines, and always assume they are live.

If you received our Afternoon Update, it means we don’t think we can get your power back on by sunset. Make sure you can stay connected overnight so you never miss an SMS or email update (we'll communicate with you according to your communication preferences). You can also search your street or NMI on Outage Tracker at any time for the latest information about your power outage. For ways to stay connected, read Staying connected during an unplanned power outage.