Power failure preparedness guide

Let’s face it. The only thing that you can predict is the unpredictability of life itself. Change is the only constant and most people, despite the best-laid plans and research, really are at a loss when it comes to things around the corner.

James Collins, Owner of disasterprepstore.com, an online survival and prepper ecommerce store says, “You only need to look at the COVID19 pandemic to get a good example of how unpredictable things can really be. When it comes to natural disasters, unpredictability is the name of the game. Mother nature just as beautiful and majestic as she can be in the great outdoors is often fickle and quite destructive.”

Storms, weather disturbances, and other natural disasters related to weather conditions becoming increasingly stronger and even more chaotic as the years pass by. A lot of this has to do with climate change as well as historical patterns.

With all that said, you really have to focus on one key resource when emergencies present themselves. Electricity is key to maintaining your family’s safety and taking care of your basic needs. You need access to reliable emergency power or electricity to survive through the twist and turns of natural emergencies.

Please understand that almost all modern human amenities turn on and require this indispensable resource. Electricity is used in our homes, offices, businesses, and others and it powers a wide range of appliances both around and inside the human body.

Without electricity, to put it in as simple terms as possible, the world will surely stop. Power outages can and do happen at any time. Whether due to a natural disaster, a man-made disruption or a bad decision, power outages are a reality that every homeowner should always be prepared for.

How to prepare your home for a power outage

The first thing that you need to do is prepare or assemble an emergency kit. It can be a box or a simple bag or a plastic container. What’s important is that you and everybody else know what it is and it is placed somewhere that is very easy to reach. It has to be immediately accessible.

When the power goes out, the emergency kit must be able to take care of your basic electricity needs. This means that at a bare minimum, this container, whether it’s a box, bag, or a plastic piece, must have first aid kits, flashlights, lanterns, batteries, whistles, battery-operated phone charger, or a solar phone charger, over the counter medicine as well as prescription medication, and a manual can opener.

This is the most basic list I can come up with and your emergency kit must have all these items.

Prepare an emergency plan

You don’t necessarily have to conduct an official meeting with your family where people show up with PowerPoint presentations, notebooks, manuals, and clipboards. Just a simple sit-down meeting where you talk face to face with your family members as well as friends and relatives regarding emergencies.

What should everybody expect, what are the most basic plans that you have as well as a list of emergency contact numbers that everybody could agree to. Once you have all this information written down in basic form, give a copy to everybody as well as place a copy in an area anybody in your home can easily access.

Get an all-weather solar powered radio

When there is a massive blackout, there are usually other disturbances that takes place. Whether it’s water interruption or gas service interruption, these types of things usually happen together and you need to be aware of local authorities announcements regarding important services and amenities in your area during an emergency.

This is why it’s really important to have an all-weather durable radio that is powered by the sun. You can also get a unit where you can manually wind up to produce electricity. It doesn’t require a battery or does it need to be plugged in.

It can be charged through a solar panel or you can manually crank it up so it can act as an emergency news box. You just need to be aware of local announcements so your family can get to resources as quickly as possible.

Get extra batteries ready

Whether you’re going to be using the batteries for flashlights or other devices, you need as many extra batteries as possible. Alternatively, you can use a wind-up battery-powered flashlight. It has a manual crank and when you move it, it creates energy which is then stored in the local battery. The battery then powers the flashlight so you don’t have to worry about finding fresh batteries or, worse yet, getting those batteries recharged.

Stock enough emergency non-perishable food and water

As much as possible, stick to canned goods. Most canned goods last many years. Also, look for canned goods that don’t really require much in terms of heating or cooking preparation. As much as you can, stick to food and beverages that can be used right on the spot.

In other words, you don’t have to open the can, unload it, cook it, heat it up, or mix it with other ingredients. Instead, stock emergency food that you can use right on the spot with as little preparation as possible.

Water, in this context, is extremely important. You should store enough water to last every single person in your family for months on end. How do you calculate this? You need at least one gallon of water per person per day.

So if you have a family of 5 and you want to stock enough water for at least 3 months, you need to do the math. One gallon of water per person per day. So 5 family members at one gallon means 5 gallons for 30 days and you want enough water for 3 months. We’re talking family of 5 times 90. So 450 gallons.

Make sure you store the water in very safe containers that don’t puncture easily.

Install a water filtration system

As much as possible, use water filtration appliances that employ some type of activated charcoal. This way, you’re not dependent on electricity to process tap water.

Buy a portable generator

While a lot of families will think twice about the hundreds of dollars that a typical portable generator requires, it is a very good investment. It can provide temporary power just to get your family back on its feet. We’re talking about a few days of emergency electricity while things start to settle down and you can start accessing local resources.

Have an eco-stove or rocket stove ready

In many cases, it’s really hard to avoid cooking. As much as people would rather stick to canned goods that they would open and eat on the spot, that gets old really quickly. Also, you might not have access to canned goods, so you have to cook your food.

To make this as painless as possible, look for an eco-stove or rocket stove. These are fairly easy to work with so you can quickly heat up canned food.

Other things that you should prepare

You should look to stock matches, lighters, and candles. You should also have bundles of extra clothes for everybody in your family and also save a few for neighbors that might need emergency help. This includes sweaters, jackets, warmers, socks. Also, make sure that the clothes that you do store reflect the complete annual season. You don’t want to be in a situation where you fail to stock clothes for winter.

You should also pack away sleeping bags and blankets, personal hygiene, and sanitation supplies like toothpaste and shampoo. You should also have a large supply of garbage bags. These are indispensable because families can and do produce quite a bit of trash.

So make sure that everything is squared away by packing away as many garbage cans as possible. Also store safety gloves and basic tools like screwdrivers, pliers, fasteners, and hammers.

What to do during power outages

Check if the power outage is only limited to your home. Make sure to turn off all appliances and equipment and tools once the power has gone out. Do not open your freezer to keep it cool. Do not use charcoal and gas barbecues and stoves in an enclosed setting.

If you are using candles, use proper holders and never leave them to burn out by themselves. Turn on your battery-powered radio to listen to local authorities’ advisories.

What to do after power outages

Once the power outage has happened, be on the lookout for any kind of flooding. Usually, some basements fill up with water, so make sure that you are on the lookout for such a situation and never enter flooded areas.

Do not use flooded outlets, appliances, and circuit breakers. Get out of that area because if the power goes back on, people might get electrocuted. Make sure to turn off the main electric switch once the powers gone out and make sure to unplug all appliances.

Check your water supply and water heaters and your fridge to monitor the food they contain.