Planning For No Power

All It Takes Is For Mother Nature To Say It Is So

The fierce winter storm that left more than 4.5 million homes and businesses in Texas without power for days in February can teach all of us an important lesson – it could happen to us. The death toll is said to be nearly 200 people from a direct result of this storm! Do not let this be you! Are you prepared for an extended electrical power outage?

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Here is a beginning list of 15 blackout supplies to get before the next power outage. Some of these links will direct you to Amazon. As an associate, I may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps me continue my efforts in doing this research and providing this valuable information to those who need it. Please help the cause and purchase through my site!

1. Non-perishable Food

An unopened refrigerator can maintain its proper temperature for at least four hours, but what next? You’ll need to rely on your supply of non-perishable foods.

Here are some items to keep on hand in your pantry for emergencies.

  • Crackers
  • Trail mix
  • Canned tuna and salmon
  • Canned soup
  • Dried fruit
  • Shelf-stable cartons of milk or plant-based milk substitutes
  • Canned fruit juice

Not all cans have an easy-open lid. Don’t forget to have a manual can opener in your kitchen to open those cans safely.

2. Water

Depending on the type of emergency, most municipal water supplies will keep flowing. However, as we saw in Texas, frozen and broken water lines can cause low water pressure and affect water quality. Also, if you have a well, your pump won’t work without electricity.

Prepare for a blackout by storing a two-week supply of water. The general rule of thumb is one gallon of water per person each day, but that does not include water for cooking, washing, or giving your animals a drink.

Another option is to buy water purification tablets or a water filtering system.

3. First Aid

The same conditions that cause a blackout can cause injuries. Stock up on first aid supplies and make sure you have an adequate supply of any prescription medicines your family takes. Here’s an emergency first aid kit from Surviveware.

4. Hygiene

In order to conserve your water supply, it’s a good idea to stock up on baby wipes, sanitizing wipes, and hand sanitizer to keep germs at bay during a blackout. Please do this before you need it. We all saw what happened with this simple item when the COVID pandemic hit. You could not find this or toilet paper in any store.

5. Flashlights

Make sure you have plenty of working flashlights and backup batteries for them. You’ll want enough for each member of your household to have one. You may want one for each room of your house as well. In a blackout situation, you do not need the brightest burn a hole in the dark flashlight. Look for the one that lasts the longest, usually LED. I like rechargeable because I can rig a way to charge it from alternative battery power.

6. Candles

In addition to flashlights, you’ll want a supply of unscented candles for room lighting. Make sure you don’t let them burn unattended. Trying to survive a blackout would be much much more difficult if your house was on fire!

7. Cookstove

If you have a fireplace or a woodstove, you can use it for cooking, and some gas stoves can be lit even if the power is out. However, you may want to buy a camping stove like this two-burner one so that you can cook outside.

You’ll need fuel to operate the stove as well. Another option is to invest in a large butane gas grill if you don’t have one already.

If all else fails and you really need to heat up some food or just have a heat source, you can learn how to build your own rocket stove from materials you may be able to round up from around the house. Click on the link to see the article where I give instructions to do so. This is a basic plan and you can scale up if you have the materials to do so. You can then use any wood you can find to cook and provide heat. Speaking of…

8. Heat

Once again, a fireplace or a wood-burning stove will be a real lifesaver for warmth during a power outage. If you rely on electricity for heat, though, you’ll need to consider other options. Make sure that any heating device you choose is rated for indoor use. If you build a rocket stove properly, the insulating materials will heat up when in use, and when the fire is removed can be relocated to add heat indoors.

If you stock up on propane you should check out the Mr. Heater line of emergency indoor propane heaters. The Little Buddy heater is suitable for small spaces too.

9. Carbon Monoxide Detector

There were a few horror stories of Texans who succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning during the recent blackout. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, tasteless, and deadly gas. To protect your family from this silent killer, install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector like this one.

10. Matches and a Lighter

Whether it’s for the logs in your fireplace or the candles on your table, you’ll need a supply of matches and a couple of lighters. This kit has emergency fire starters and waterproof matches in a metal tin. I have several of these in different places. I also keep other sources to build fires. It is a survival technique to diversify and spread out what you have.

11. Battery-operated Radio

You’ll be able to stay up with the weather and the news about the power outage with a battery-operated or hand-cranked radio. This one also features a lamp and a phone charger.

12. Sleeping Bags and Blankets

You may need to group together in one room to stay warm or cool, so it’s a good idea to have some clean and ready-to-use sleeping bags on hand. Extra blankets and foam pads for the floor also come in handy.

13. Phone Chargers

You’ll want to conserve your phone battery power as much a possible, but you can use your car to charge it when needed. However, you’ll need a car phone charger to do that. You also might want to consider a solar-powered phone charger like this one.

14. Gasoline

Gas stations may be closed during a blackout, they also require power to pump the gas from below ground. It is always a good practice to try and keep your vehicles’ tanks at least half full, and if you can, store a full gas can (or more) in a shed or outbuilding.

A true prepper will have a fuel tank that they use for this situation. They are reasonably affordable and you can get them filled to be used for your normal gas usage. Then you don’t have to stop at the gas station anymore!

15. Generator

If your budget permits, you may want to look into the purchase of a generator. There are many sizes and styles to choose from, ranging from whole house backup generators to ones that run small appliances and electronics.

This website has a calculator to help you choose the right size. According to Consumer Reports, you’ll need about 5,000 watts to cover a typical home’s basic electrical needs.

If you just want to keep a few things going, a portable generator may be the answer. These smaller machines usually operate on propane or gasoline and cost much less than larger standby generators. They are not safe to use in enclosed spaces, and you should run them away from windows as well.

The one I have is able to run all of the lights in the house and the air conditioner. This portable generator has the ability to run on gas or propane and has an electric start. I have it set up if the power goes out I just throw a transfer switch and hit the start button and we have power.

Newer to the market are portable power stations. These generators are battery-powered and are safe to use indoors. Some have solar panels. This model is easy to carry and has three 110V outlets. It can power several devices during a blackout. Great for hunting and camping too!

Bonus: Boredom Busters

Many of us are so reliant on electronics for our entertainment these days that we may suffer from boredom during a blackout even if our other needs are met. Keep a stash of puzzles, board games, and books on hand that are suitable for all ages in your family.

Our nation has an aging power grid, and extreme weather conditions are only making the threat of power outages worse. Here are some other tips from ready.gov to help you survive the next blackout.

  • Do not use a gas oven or stove to heat your home.
  • Unplug appliances and electronics to avoid damage from surges when power returns.
  • When it comes to unrefrigerated food, “when in doubt, throw it out.”
  • If the outage lasts for more than 24 hours, throw away any medication that requires refrigeration.

I hope you find this info helpful! I am trying to reach as many people as possible and help our generation to be ready before they have to be! If you are interested in me helping you learn how to take care of getting ready before you have to be, just click this link and subscribe. I will help you with Your Survival Plan!

Thanks,

Chad

2 Replies to “Planning For No Power”

  1. This is excellent information, Chad, thank you! I’m inspired to stock up my pantry and appreciate your recommendations for which shelf-stable goods would be best to consider. Also, I appreciated your thoughts about how COVID has prepared us to pay more attention to preparing for potential emergencies in the future. It is so true that I wasn’t able to find hand sanitizer or toilet paper for months at the stores!

    Could you please share how much food and water you would recommend having on hand? Would enough for 7-10 days be sufficient? Thanks! 

    • Hi Erica,

      You have recognized my goal in this website, to help people become more aware of how not ready we are. I hope to help people be ready before they have to be.

      It was an eyeopener when the shelves went empty. Of course, when that happens people tend to then start stocking up, at that point, it may be too late. 

      Prepping is something I have spent years on getting to where I have it down to know what I need, what I have, and how to manage it so I always have a fresh supply on hand. I can share a touch on what you asked about with the water. 

      There is a lot to know about how much of what. To give you an idea about water, it depends on how many. You might be surprised at how much it takes. Most professionals will recommend 3 gallons per person per day. This includes water for cooking, hygiene, and drinking. With my capabilities to provide water, I only store drinking water for three days. with a family of five, that’s 15 gallons and I keep 4 – 5 gallon containers with fresh drinking water in my emergency kit. If you do not have an external resource or the means to purify the water you could want more. 

      One thing I will mention, if you pay attention to the expected severity of the emergency you can control your rations from the beginning and stretch what you have a bit longer. 

      If anyone is not comfortable with this, I am here to help! If you subscribe to Your Survival Plan, will guide you through the process of setting up your survival kit step by step until you have what you need in a way that will leave you with a habit that keeps it identified and rotated so you are always ready before you have to be.

      I hope this helps!

      Chad 

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