Power Outage Kits – What Should You Put in Yours?
The lights in your home begin to flicker on and off. You roll your eyes and wince, praying that your electricity will somehow hang in there.
But then, the lights go out indefinitely, leaving you and your family sitting there in total darkness. Your mind starts racing, wondering how you will keep your family warm that night. After all, it’s the middle of winter.
Little do you know, your power will not come back on for several days.
Power Outage Kit: What Should Be in a Power Outage Emergency Kit?
Every once in a while, power outages can even happen on bright sunny days, but it’s usually due to severe weather that’s happening in your area. Natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, snowstorms, and wildfires are all notorious for causing the electricity to go out.
Do you have the right supplies set aside in your home if your power was out for a long period of time? Chances are, probably not. These are important items that every household should have in their power outage kit.
1. Light Sources
It seems like more times than not, power outages occur during the dead of night. Not sure why that is, but it’s true. You don’t want to find yourself fumbling and scrambling around in the dark searching for a flashlight.
While you do have the option of stocking up on your typical battery-operated flashlight, you’d never have to worry about the batteries going bad with a solar-powered flashlight. Just remember to leave it on your bedroom windowsill so that it has a good charge for when you need it.
Some people resort to using candles during power outages, but this is a dangerous fire hazard. Accidents can happen when candles are bumped, or forgotten about. Instead, invest in a few camping lanterns that can offer you even more light when you need it.
2. Extra Batteries
If your storing anything battery powered, batteries will also be an important item to have. Whether you need them for flashlights, small fans, power banks, or simply entertainment purposes, make sure you stock up on all the different sizes.
3. Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide poisoning is arguably one of the most dangerous threats that could cause harm to your family’s safety during a power outage. That’s because you are using alternative ways to cook, heat, and light up your home after the power has gone out.
This is why it’s so crucial that you have a carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home and that you change out the batteries when needed.
4. Power Bank
Your cell phones and other electronics will only last for so long without a charge. Power banks are a useful item to have so that your family isn’t sent reeling back into the dark ages.
5. Crank Radio
Weather radios can keep your family up to speed on any important updates or dangers that may be happening in your area. Crank radios don’t require any batteries and are very easy to operate.
6. Emergency Supply of Food and Water
Because of how bulky these items are, you probably won’t be able to fit food and water into your power outage kit. You need to think about keeping them as close to one another as possible.
You need enough food and water to last everyone in your family for at least 3 days. Any more than that certainly wouldn’t hurt. Keeping snacks set aside for you and your kids is another good morale booster.
Just be sure to rotate out your supply about every 6 months.
7. First Aid Kit
Hopefully, no one in your family ever experiences a serious injury following an emergency, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Make sure that your first aid kit includes scissors, bandages, gauze, wraps, antiseptic wipes, hand sanitizer, and gloves.
Don’t be caught without the proper medication for someone in your family that needs it. Set aside a few doses of their daily medications so that they don’t run out at the wrong time. Pain relief and cold and flu medicine are a couple other ones to think about.
Coolers are a nice luxury to have on you if the power has gone out for more than a few hours. Food will quickly start to spoil after 4 hours with no power, and about 48 hours for the food that’s in your freezer.
Grab several bags of ice from the convenience store and throw them in your coolers to help keep food and certain medications cold like they ought to be.
10. Matches and Lighter
While it’s not recommended that you use matches and lighters when lighting candles during a power outage, they are useful for helping start a fire outdoors, whether it’s to stay warm or prepare meals.
11. Cooking Devices
When your family is wanting a hot meal to help them warm up in your home, there’s a good chance that your kitchen stove won’t be up for the task.
One option is to use charcoal or propane grill that you use during the summer. Camping stoves are another great option. Just remember to only use these cooking methods outdoors for your family’s safety.
12. Blankets, Towels, and Coats
Should a power outage take place during a snowstorm, you’ll need blankets and coats that you can bundle up in to stay warm. To help keep you all dry and from getting sick, towels are another great item to have next to your power outage kit.
13. Household Tools
You need to have a few household tools in your kit as well, including a pocket knife, scissors, pliers, a Phillips, and a flat-head screwdriver.
14. Special Needs Items
Do you have a member in your family that has a special need? Make sure that you remember to have enough of their medications or items that they use daily to accommodate them and keep them calm and comfortable too.
15. Extra Cash
If your area is without power for several days, you won’t be able to use your credit card to purchase anything that your family may need. Keep extra cash hidden away in your power outage kit for situations like this.
The dozens of games and movies that are on your children’s iPads and other devices will only entertain them for so long.
Think about including other fun activities, such as board games, card games, books, and coloring books for the younger kids.
What Should Be in Your Power Outage Kit?
When it comes to your family’s safety, you can never be too prepared. For peace of mind, make sure that you place your power outage kit in an area of your home that is easy to get to and that each of your family members knows where it is kept.
Storing it in the attic or in the basement might be difficult to reach after the power has gone out so plan accordingly.
Can you think of any other important items to have on-hand with your power outage kit that would also prove useful? Please share in the comments!