There’s probably nothing worse than being stuck at home with no electricity, especially when there’s a serious power outage that can take hours to be restored.
Power failure usually occurs without a fair warning and can be caused due to various unpredictable factors such as natural causes like wind and lighting, technological interruptions, or even traffic accidents, to name a few. These factors are beyond our control, so it’s best to be prepared for a power outage at all times.
Here are a few things you should have on hand for a power outage so that you and your family can be at peace in such instances.
Food and Water
The first thing to put in your emergency kit for a power outage is, of course, food and water. You need enough food and water to last you for at least 72 hours or more.
Ready-to-eat and non-perishable foods are the ideal option here that include things like protein/breakfast bars, crackers, canned soup, dried fruit, trail mix, granola bars, bottled drinks and juices, instant drinks, and non-refrigerated cartons of milk, to name a few.
You also need to stay hydrated and stock up water bottles in your emergency kit for a power outage. Make sure to have sufficient water according to two liters per person per day.
A first aid kit is absolutely essential during a power failure because accidents can happen, especially if you have children in the house.
Some basic items you should put in the first aid kit are:
- Sterile gauze pads
- Alcohol swabs
- Essential medicines
- Pain medication
- Hot water bottle
- Sterile gloves
- Ice packs
- Prescription medication (if you take any)
While you may not necessarily need candles, it’s still a good idea to pack some in your emergency kit for a power outage. In case your cell phone or flashlight gives up on you, candles prove to be really useful.
Personal Care Items
During a power outage, you certainly don’t want to be running around the place looking for things like a tissue roll, or say, a face wash.
You should have all your personal care items packed safely in the kit to be able to use them during a blackout without any inconvenience.
These items include things like clean socks, a full change of clothes, tissue rolls, a bar of soap, hand cream, washcloth, contact lens solution if you wear lenses, and other such things that you are likely to need when the power goes out.
Tools and Supplies
This includes some of the most important items that you absolutely must have on your hand for a power outage. Some basic tools and supplies are:
- Spare batteries
- Flashlights or headlamps
- Basic tools like screwdrivers hammer, wrench, pliers, fasteners, safety gloves)
- External power bank
- Can opener
- Roll of duct tape
- Utility knife
- Matches and lighters
- Extra cash
- Emergency contact numbers
- Garbage bags
Supplies for Children
Surviving a power outage with children is quite challenging; however, you can make things a little easier for you by having the necessary supplies for them in the emergency kit. These include items like diapers, extra clothing, bottles and formula, baby wipes, toys, and their favorite foods.
Supplies for Pets
A lot of people have pets in their homes, and naturally, you need to include supplies for them as well in your emergency kit for a power outage. Some basic items include pet food, water, food and water bowls, warm blankets, and any medications or ointments that your pet might need.
While this isn’t really an essential item that you need to have on hand for a power outage, you could actually kill a few hours during a blackout with some entertainment options.
Since you probably won’t be able to use your phone or laptop for that long as they are likely to run out of charge, it’s best to have some board games or a deck of cards in your emergency kit. If you like to read, throw in a book or two in the emergency kit along with an extra flashlight and batteries just for you.
Another option for entertainment is coloring book with crayons, markers, and coloring pencils. Most children also enjoy coloring, so it’s a great way to kill time and get through a blackout.
Prepare An Emergency Plan
During a power outage, you can expect the roads to be blocked, gas stations to be out of service, and nearby stores to be closed. This means that you could quite literally be stuck indoors for hours or even days, depending on the duration of the power failure.
You need to take things into consideration and prepare an emergency plan with your family so that everyone knows what to expect and what they need to do in such situations.
- The first thing you want to do here is create a preparedness plan with essential tips and share it with your family. You want to have a detailed contingency plan in case the power goes for longer than expected.
- Create a list of emergency contact numbers and make sure to keep the list in a safe yet accessible place. From numbers of your family members to contacts like the police and ambulance, you never know who you might need to call during an outage.
- Keep your emergency kit in a place that’s easy to locate, and keep checking it regularly to ensure that all the essential tools and supplies are working and are in order.
Power outages are truly very frustrating but know that they are only temporary. Since power failures usually occur unexpectedly, having an emergency kit for a power outage is one thing that will help you in such times.