It’s 4 am. Another sleepless night, spent in front of my laptop, the wind outside is crushing against trees and buildings and the rain is pouring. I am ready for it, oh I am ready for it because I know how sensitive the power lines of this town are, and BOOM, lights are out. My worst nightmare, being stuck in a huge apartment all alone facing my worst fear, the dark. It doesn’t help that a dog is howling in the distance either. Creepy, creepy, creepy!
Lights finally flicker on, but I am unsure, of course, a few seconds later, they turn off again. I don’t get my hopes up too much.
Luckily I was prepared, armed with a flashlight practically all day. I lit some candles and continued to waste my laptops battery, waiting for daylight.
All is well for a while until I realize that my fear of the dark doesn’t do me any favors when I need to get things done, like say, reach more candles from the storage in the next room. I’m not moving from my seat.
I know where everything is, I could get to it blindfolded, but this is an unforgivable fear we are talking about.
I have made sure to have candles, batteries and flashlights practically in every room, but then realized that they are all spread out. Candles here, flashlights there, batteries elsewhere, I even have solar lights, somewhere. This doesn’t help me at all.
I need a power outage kit, that has everything packed together, and is stored close to wherever I might be. It would save a ton of unnecessary fumbling.
*I hear footsteps and get a little panicky, but then realize it’s the owners from upstairs. Phew.*
Now back to my happy thoughts, I start scheming yet another sufficient handy kit that would help me next time this happens.
*wild kitty outside is growling at something* Why do all the creepy noises emerge at a time like this?
OK settle down and get to work.
Believe me when I tell you, the only way you will learn what you need in case of an emergency, is if you actually live through it. It all suddenly makes perfect sense.
When it comes to power outages, the best thing to do, is have a small kit in a draw of every room, that way, you can get to light quickly and easily.
Generally power outage kits, for short term loss of electricity include the following items:
Candles (Taper, Pillar, or whatever you fancy)
Tea light candles
Solar/Battery powered lights/lanterns (great for families with small children)
For a longer term I would consider adding the following items:
Glow sticks– I purchased mine from the dollar store in Australia, after a Halloween clearance. They come in various sizes, and they provide light for a few hours.
Oil lamps– It’s easy to DIY oil lamps if you can’t afford to buy them. Just keep a few jars or old light globes handy.
Lanterns-Battery operated or solar powered.
Hand cranked flashlight/radio-It takes work, but you can have light at any time, plus get to know what’s going on outside.
Battery operated AM/FM handheld radio-I have a few of those laying about. Leave the batteries separate to the radio but close to it so you are not looking for them all over the place. Batteries have a bad habit of exploding their gunk if they are left in there long term. Same goes for flashlights.
Gas stove or fuel tablet mini stoves for emergency cooking-We have a gas bottle attached to a portable two burner stove. It’s cheaper and you don’t need electricity to run it, plus it lasts for a good 2-3 months.
Shelf stable food-If the power goes out for a prolonged time, you would want to have your cupboards stuffed with food that would last outside of the fridge. Of course, perishable foods are the first to go. Raid the fridge first, but don’t open and close that door too much, as you want to keep the foods fresh for as long as possible.
I have heard of people being snowed in for a whole week, without electricity. That would be a horrific experience, and hungry people become angry people, and no one wants that to happen, so store at least a month’s worth of shelf stable food, like dried goods, legumes, pasta, beans, rice, jerky, tuna, chocolate etc. and store them in airtight containers.
Don’t forget babies, you might want to store extra nappies, formula, baby food, wipes etc
Also, don’t forget your pets! They are family too!
An entertainment kit-Power is out, no internet, no TV, no video games, pack some crosswords & use a pencil to fill them out, that way when you finish, you can erase the answers and pass it to the next guy. Also, dominoes, board games, card games, books etc are all good entertainment. If you are stuck alone, like I am, books will be your best friend, you can escape to another world, and the hours pass before you even know it.
If you can afford it, get your hands on a Diesel/Petrol powered generator, also, solar re chargers for phone, laptops etc are great too!
Water-for obvious reasons, keep a few extra bottles handy.
Also a recharged phone as a form of communication with family, friends and emergency services.
Well I am not sure if I covered everything, so if I have missed something, feel free to comment below!
Do you have a power outage kit?
What is your short term/long term solution?