Nobody thinks about it, until it happens. Nobody notices how really quiet and dark a house can be, until it has no power. Someone hitting a light pole or the utility company blowing a transformer are mostly minor irritations that cause outages. But what would happen if there were no power for several days, a week, or longer? It happens. Hurricanes, tornadoes, winter storms and extreme heat can cause the power to go out for days or even longer. In the last few years, extended power outages of a few weeks have occurred in major metropolitan areas across the country. How prepared are you for an extended power outage, especially if you’re without power long enough to make life really uncomfortable? With these 10 critical items for your next power outage, you’ll be ok…as long as you’re prepared…
Back to the Basics of Survival
The four basic things needed for survival are food, water, shelter, and heat. Food, of course, for nutrients and energy. Water for hydration. Shelter from the outside elements, and heat for cooking and to stay warm. In many incidents of power loss, these elements are still in place. Unless you’re in a situation where you home has been totally destroyed by a devastating event, you still have food, water, and shelter. Heat is still provided, at least to some extent, by the roof over your head and by adding layers of extra clothing or blankets.
Remember, microwaves don’t work when the power is out. Making sure you stock your home with non-perishable food and bottled water is key. You’ll need at least 1 gallon of water per person, per day. Food, water, shelter and heat are essential for us to stay alive, but our list of items is for situations where all of those are still intact. When you experience an extended power outage, you’ll be grateful for these 10 critical items on our list…
Pitch Black darkness
Power loss at night has quite an impact. The pitch black of complete darkness is disorienting and evokes fear in many people. It takes a few minutes to get your eyes acclimated to the dark, and to figure out what is going on. A flick of a lighter, a match or the glow of a flashlight can have an amazing effect. It can immediately help to bring a feeling of calm to the situation and ease fears, especially in children. Light is so important, that’s why we’re mentioning it, as the first critical item on our list.
The Ultrafire seven watt LED flashlight with 300 lumens of illumination has an aluminum body and convex lens attached to spread out the light more effectively. This extremely bright hand held flashlight can be kept in a desk drawer, or on the side of a sofa or chair organizer, just for emergencies when you need a light in your hand quickly. The Ultrafire light is even handy enough to fit into a pocket or purse. It’s an affordable little flashlight that can be stowed in various places throughout your house for easy access when the power goes out.
For complete home backup lighting, Mr. Beams ReadyBright is a complete system that auto detects home power failure and will provide up to 40 hours of light. This system will turn on the lights automatically when power is disrupted and can be activated by a remote control that also doubles as a flashlight. This is a great system that will provide you with immediate power to avoid the initial disorientation when everything goes dark. Mr. Beams is an innovative company with lots of super energy efficient, wireless LED lighting options that make life easier. Check out our article on one of our all time favorite products: Mr. Beams Wireless LED Motion Sensing Night Light.
Flashlights are good for task lighting, like finding your way around the house or looking for more batteries in your junk drawer, but you need other lighting sources for sitting around the dinner table, playing a board game or reading a book. Supernova’s 500 Ultra Bright LED Lantern is bright enough to illuminate almost anything and can be on for three continuous days. The LED’s are guaranteed for up to 100,000 hours of use and with pulsing indicator light this unit can always be seen in an emergency situation. Water resistant and durable, this one has to be in your prep kit.
When the power goes out, you’ll need more than just lights. Your cell phone is one of the most critical items in any emergency situation. So, you’ll want to make sure that you have the ability to keep your phone charged at all times. Our phones connect us to family, friends and the rest of the world. In a power outage situation, you’ll want to hear from family and friends in your area, as well as get the latest news on when the power will be restored. For these reasons, you’ll want to get the RAVPower 26,800 mah Portable Battery Pack. It allows charging of three devices at once and can handle the pressure to charge cell phones and tablets. RAVPower also has a 15-watt solar charger that can power the battery pack with free solar energy from the sun.
No Go without H2O
Because water is so essential to all of us, having a backup supply is critical for long periods without power. Oftentimes, power outages can cause a disruption of your water service or access to clean water. The waterBob is a 100-gallon storage kit that allows you to connect it to faucets and well storage containers. This water containment system comes with a large durable plastic bladder and a hand pump so that the water can be dispersed back after storage. After laying the plastic bladder into a bathtub, simply attach a fill tube to the faucet and the bladder is filled in 20-40 minutes. It should provide you with plenty of water for an extended time without power.
Food being one of the basics for human life, makes it essential in an emergency situation. Keeping food from spoiling can be a difficult task in long outages. Having a 120 quart Igloo Cooler for food storage is a step in the right direction to prevent all of your food from spoiling. The Ultratherm case and top will keep ice frozen for five days at 90-degree Fahrenheit outside temperatures. With a dual snap lid enclosure, the food is kept secure and cold. A really good tip is too keep 1-2 gallon size water jugs in your freezer. They keep your freezing running efficiently at all times and help you to save energy, but they will also keep food cold in your freezer, after the power goes out. Eventually, they can be transferred to keep food fresh in your cooler, as well.
Don’t go Radio Silent
To find out what is going on when other communication outlets are down the Kaito KA500 Emergency AM/FM/SW Weather Alert Radio is a five way powered broadcast and short wave radio that also features a USB outlet, a reading lamp and seven pre-programmed weather channels for storm information. This crank and battery powered device is on the short list of what you’ll need in this type of emergency situation.
Small stove…BIG Boost!
For cooking, the Eteckcity Ultralight Portable Stove is perfect for power outage emergencies. This aluminum and stainless steel camping stove connects to butane/propane tanks and has a flame control adjustable for maximum to minimum heat. One of the worst things about an extended power outage is that it creates a huge disruption to your normal routine. Hot meals are one of the many things that we take for granted and is something you will miss tremendously, when it’s not available. This Etekcity Portable Stove is just what you’ll need to heat up some of your stored food. It’s a big moral booster, when you’ve been without power for a few days, which makes it a great addition to your emergency outage planning kit.
No emergency kit is complete without tools to repair necessary items during power outage situations. The Leatherman Skeletool CX Multi-Tool is the standard which all multi-tools strive for, and can be a best friend in an emergency situation. You may need to get crafty when the power is out. You’ll have to improvise or fix something, that might make things just a little more comfortable for you and your family. This multi-function tool is just what you’ll need.
Is there a doctor in the house?
If you need first aid, Always Prepared provides an Ultra-Light 100 Piece First Aid Kit in a durable nylon case. Sturdy metal scissors, and sting relief ointment pads are just a few of the available items in this oh-so-necessary first aid combination. Remember, you may be in a situation where weather damage is all around you. Even if your house or neighborhood is still standing, your power could be out for long periods of time. You may want to help family or friends that are less fortunate. They might need your hand in recovering belongings in their homes, removing trees blocking roadways or to fix a broken door or window. All of this activity, makes for more opportunities for injuries. That’s why a First Aid Kit is so important. This kit is extremely light and small, and can fit in an automobile glove box. First aid preparedness is key, and this kit has everything needed to treat bumps, blisters, cuts and more.
Turn that Frown upside Down!
As I mentioned earlier, being without power disrupts your routine. For most people, their daily ritual involves waking up and immediately taking a hot shower. One or two days without that shower, gives everyone the blues. Not to mention that the longer we don’t shower, the more fragrant we become and the less time we want to spend around each other. This might seem like an optional item, but the Ivation Battery Powered Portable Handheld Shower and Water Pump is one of the most important items for an extended power outage situation. Not only will it help to refresh your body and spirit, but maintaining good hygiene prevents the spread of germs in these types of situations when people are spending a lot of time together. With a direct connection to a 12 volt source this shower and pump together can pull water from a bucket filled with hot water, sink or other source. The shower head sticks on the wall with a suction cup and has a convenient on/off switch for the pump. It’s highly recommended!
You’ll be ok…if you’re prepared.
Preparation is a key to any power outage situation. It can be just a minor inconvenience, an extended time where you’ll be challenged to overcome difficult situations or an opportunity to reconnect with friends and family, without all of the distractions that power provides in our daily lives. However you look at it, an extended outage can create fear, discomfort, and even become a matter of survival, if you don’t have a plan of action in place when it happens. These 10 critical items will help to keep everyone calm during an extended power outage, should it happen to you. And as long as you’re prepared, you’ll be ok.
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