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15 Items For Power Outage Kit

Power Outages Can Be Stressful If Not Prepared.

Power outages can be caused by a wide variety of sources including general utility problems, winter storms, lightening strikes, wind storms as well as grid overload. There are numerous other causes but for the purpose of this article the fact remains the same…….the power is out.

Depending upon your geographic location, housing type, environment, and overall health – power outages can range from a minor inconvenience to a serious threat. Summer heat can be serious threat to the elderly without air conditioning and frigid winters are a threat to everyone absent of heat.

In the old days, power outages were kinda of sparse but as a kid they were times when the parents would drag out candles, kerosene lamps and make it a fun event.

As an adult, I can not stand power outages. During and after Hurricane IKE, we lost power for 2 weeks and lived on a generator. With the gas prices they are today, that would be an expensive two weeks. We were able to purchase gas from a station that ran the pumps utilizing a generator. Small towns in Texas have their act together when it comes to disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes or ice storms.

If you got caught not having the supplies you needed such as water, the local sheriffs department came around to ensure you were ok and left you a case of water. The local volunteer department had food and water to help you out for a couple of days. All in all, it worked out ok.

With hurricane season coming into its strongest part of the season, why not get ready for it by creating a power outage kit before the storm hits?

Putting together a Power Outage Kit often can be done with items that are already found in most households. The goal is to have a single location to find supplies to react in response to a power failure.

Example: Power Outage Kit #1

Put together in a large tote – supply list:

Qty: 1 Flashlight, large (wide beam spotlight)

Qty: 1 LED Maglite, D cell

Qty: 2 Lanterns, battery operated

Qty: 3 Flashlights, LED – small

Qty: 5 Lightsticks

Qty: 2 Candles, pillar

Qty: 2 Candles, jar – large

Qty: 24 Tealights

Qty: 1 Can opener

Qty: 2 Propane canisters

Qty: 1 750 watt inverter

Qty: 1 AM/FM radio, battery operated

Qty: 1 DVD player, portable

Qty: 2 Butane lighters

Qty: 4 Matches, box

******Extra batteries for all

Example: Power Outage Kit #2

Put together in a small tote – supply list:

Qty: 2 Lanterns, battery operated

Qty: 3 Flashlights, LED – small

Qty: 5 Lightsticks

Qty: 2 Candles, pillar

Qty: 2 Candles, jar – large

Qty: 24 Tealights

Qty: 1 Can opener

Qty: 1 AM/FM radio, battery operated

Qty: 2 Butane lighters

Qty: 4 Matches, box

******Extra batteries for all

Let’s review the contents of these kits:

Flashlights – Flashlights are the basic building block to a black out kit and are invaluable when it comes to existing in a grid down situation. The quality and brightness of flashlights are getting better all the time while the cost continues to drop. Many flashlights today utilize LED bulbs which are extremely durable, super bright, and use very little power. When you find yourself in the dark – you need bright lights that will last as long as possible. I highly recommend LED lights.

Battery Operated Lanterns – Very much like flashlights described above – lanterns provide light over a wider area. For illuminating a large area battery operated lanterns work exceedingly well. Oil lamps can also work well however there is a much greater risk of fire using them compared to battery operated. LED lanterns are more expensive however they provide much more light and sip power out of batteries.

Lightsticks – These chemically activated lightstick provide dim light with no heat and using no energy for several hours. If unfamiliar – these liquid-filled plastic tubes are bent and shaken to activate. Available in different colors – these are very popular with kids which could help alleviate worries and concerns with them. Lightsticks are very inexpensive however they do have an expiration date so check the package.

Candles – It goes without saying but I have to say it – SAFETY FIRST. Burning candles obviously exposes the environment to open flame and it only takes a moment to ignite the wrong thing and the power outage now becomes much more serious. With that said – candles can be used safely to provide soft light to illuminate areas for a long period of time. Jar candles are my personal favorite.

Can Opener – Most any household contains enough food to last a family 3-4 days. Commonly much of that food is in cans. Should the power fail electric can openers will no longer work. Having a manual can opener will allow access to those valuable canned goods. A simple and inexpensive tool that will be very valuable should the grid go down.

Propane Canisters – Cooking certainly becomes more difficult without electricity. As an avid camper – I have a portable camp stove that runs on small propane canisters. These inexpensive camp stoves can be used outside to cook very similar to a conventional stove top. Having a couple of propane canisters in your Power Outage Kit to fuel a camp stove will be very comforting should you find yourself trying to figure out how to cook soup with no electricity.

750 Watt Power Inverter – An Inverter is a fantastic device which converts DC power (battery) to AC power (household). Having an inverter provides the ability to operate a variety of devices such as box fans, electric lights, small power tools, and other electronic devices such as radios and computers. A couple years ago a power outage happened in the middle of summer and it was HOT. I hooked up my inverter to one of my vehicles and was able to run a box fan, DVD player and small TV for several hours. I had to start the vehicle to recharge the battery several times but dealing with the heat and boredom was much improved.

Battery Operated AM/FM Radio – Being able to get news during a black out could be very critical depending on the nature of the situation. Having a small battery powered AM/FM radio with spare batteries will provide access to news updates as well as entertainment listening to music. In addition to the common AM/FM bands – some radio’s can receive special weather bands which provide weather forecasts and emergency information 24 hours a day.

Portable DVD Player – Certainly not a necessity – a portable DVD player can help entertain the kids in a difficult situation or take the edge off of a stressful one for yourself. Most models can be plugged in a vehicle cigarette lighter adapter for recharging and can play an entire movie when fully charged.

Butane Lighters and Matches – Why a butane lighter? For fire of course. Lighting up a candle or starting a camp stove is difficult rubbing two sticks together. Matches – which are super cheap – serve the same purpose and are just another option.

Extra Batteries – It is very important to store extra batteries for each battery-powered device. Difficult to listen to your local AM news station without batteries in that radio. Put away several spares and always buy high quality alkaline.

So – there are a couple examples to consider when putting together your own Power Outage Kit. Consider your own situation and build it as big or as small as you wish.

A few other things to consider:

DO NOT open refrigerators and freezers unless absolutely necessary. Every time they are opened valuable cold air escapes.

Have food available that simple meals can be made from. A few examples are soup, pasta and spaghetti sauce, and of course everyone’s favorite peanut butter and jelly. Hot cocoa and coffee is also usually a welcome addition.

BatteryChargers – With so many devices capable of being charged via USB plugs – have a couple of USB adapters that can plug into the cigarette lighter or 12V power outlet in your vehicle. Being able to charge up a tablet PC, cell phone, or book reader would be nice to be able to do with the grid down.

Fire Extinguisher – Have a fire extinguisher available. You never know what may happen – and lighting matches and using candles certainly increases the risk of fire.

Generators are certainly a welcome addition to supplies when the power fails. Even small generators often can power a refrigerator along with a few other things at the same time. Before purchasing read up on what your power requirements are and make sure you have plenty of fuel stored away.

Helping neighbors – It is very likely that your neighbors will be less prepared than yourself. Be the hero and put back a few extra flashlights and batteries to help your neighbor.

Heat in the Winter – Portable propane heaters using the same canisters that a camp stove uses are fantastic for heating small areas. Kerosene heaters as well can work well. Either one require fuel be stored away for use later.

It is not a question of When the power will go out – but for how long and how bad the situation will be. Regardless, the better you prepare now the easier it will be to deal with later on.

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2 Responses to “15 Items For Power Outage Kit”

  1. Danyelle Franciosa Says:

    One thing I cannot do without when there’s power outages in our town is the flashlight! I really can’t take it when I don’t have it, I hate dark places and I hate stepping into something unusual, it often happens to me when its dark.

    Anyway, thanks for the list!

  2. why not find out more Says:

    why not find out more…

    15 Items For Power Outage Kit |…

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