While most Canadians weren't hit as hard by Tropical Storm Sandy as our American friends on the east coast, power outages still kept kids and their parents at home today.
Here are some ideas on how to pass the time with your family when you're stuck at home without power.
Since you've stocked up adequately (right?), gather your family in the living room for a candlelit picnic on the floor. Be sure to strategically use some of the perishables from the fridge, as you don't know how long the power will remain out.
Tip: Open the refrigerator door as infrequently as possible. You'll keep the cool air in and up your chances of keeping food safe.
Play board games or sing-along games
Once your space is adequately illuminated by candles, lanterns or the fireplace, play board games and card games together. If there's enough light, tackle a tricky puzzle or two. Grab and guitar and sing camp songs together. Take advantage of the time away from screens and gadgets and spend some quality time together.
Since you can't pop in a DVD, encourage your kids to act out their favourite films or to put on a one-act play. Initiate simple arts and craft projects. Just adding some coloured cellophane over a flashlight makes the darkness a little more fun.
Also see: 10 ways to hurricane-proof your kitchen
Reading by candlelight is a romantic notion. For some, it might be a rare opportunity to slow down and pick up that book that's been sitting on a bedside table for months.
Parents can snuggle up with their young ones and read a new family favourite aloud. Revisit the first Harry Potter novel, or introduce them to your favourite childhood story. Recruit a flashlight helper to aim light at the page.
When the power goes out in the evening, make "sleeping until the sun comes out" fun. Grab sleeping bags and blankets and camp out under a canopy of blankets in a communal space in your home. Tell ghost stories only if your kids are old enough to handle them. Or grant the kids the rare privilege of snuggling close to Mom and Dad on their pillow-covered king-sized bed.
Before the storm: Stock up
Every pantry should have some basics ready in advance of a storm. Even without the weatherman's warning, be ready with bottled water, crackers, canned meats and vegetables, snacks, and little emergency treats to help calm down the kids.
Have extra batteries, candles, flashlights, lanterns, ice packs, lighters and blankets on hand — and make sure they're easily accessible in the dark.
Be sure to have a battery powered radio so you can stay up-to-date on any weather news or of how where the power outage extends to.
If you own a gas stove or barbecue, keep extra fuel on hand.
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, make sure you have plenty of logs ready to keep you warm.
Watch the funny video below about a New Jersey resident who took his jet ski for a spin during Hurricane Sandy.