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Power Outage Emergency Kit

Few of us have not experienced that sinking feeling when the lights go out when we’re working on the computer, playing a favorite video game, or watching a television show.  While these outages do not necessarily occur at ‘the worst possible time’, they are inconvenient and disrupt our lives.  Most power outages are caused by storms, and can occur as easily during the summer thunderstorm period as they can during the winter.  Power outages can also be cause by accidents at the power station, a defective transformer, or someone running into a light pole. 

Getting together a power’s out emergency kit will go a long way to getting you through a power outage more easily and safely.  The kit should be in an accessible spot that will be easy to reach even in the darkness.

  • Flashlights should probably be one of the first things into your kit.  You should have at least two in your kit.  We have found that the rechargeable LED flashlights that simply plug into the wall work well for us.  A battery powered flashlight can be included, too, along with spare batteries.
  • Spare fuses.  Although most power outages will be caused with trouble on the line, it is always a good idea to check your fuse box if you are unable to determine whether neighbors have also lost power.
  • A battery operated, or crank radio will be helpful in keeping you up to date on the situation.
  • There should be enough water to provide for everyone in the household for at least 5 days.  You will need about a gallon of water, per person, per day.
  • Sufficient food, preferably that will not need to be cooked, should be in your emergency kit.  Have enough for 5 days.  Emergency ration bars need no cooking, and will provide complete nutrition during an outage.  If you cook with gas, or have a small emergency stove in the kit, you will be able to eat in a more normal fashion.  Remember, however, that food in the refrigerator or freezer will go bad quickly.
  • A multitool, one that has a can opener attachment, will be useful during a power outage.
  • Water proof matches and some candles should be in your kit.  Flashlights will run down in time, so a means of providing light for longer periods should be included.  Some people might opt for a kerosene lamp for a higher level of illumination.
  • You should have a first aid kit, and this should not only include the basics of treating injuries, but should also have any prescription medications that anyone in the family might be taking.
  • Blankets and warm clothing will be needed if the power outage occurs during the winter especially if you have no alternative source of heat.
  • Convenience items, related to personal hygiene will have to be in your kit.  Women will need sanitary supplies and babies will need pre-moistened wipes and disposable diapers.
  • Because you will probably be using candles for your light source, you should have a fire extinguisher among your supplies.  Quite a few house fires are caused by candles every year, so make sure you can put a fire out if one does start.
  • When the power is restored, there will be a power surge.  This can be harmful to electrical appliances, so unplug your refrigerator, computer, freezer, television, and any other appliances.  Keep one light on so that you will know when the power is restored.

Once you have assembled your power outage emergency kit, you will be well prepared to snap your fingers at the next outage.  Be sure to break out some board games or cards to keep everyone entertained until the lights go on.