Power Outage Survival Kit
by Joseph Parish
When it's black out it is definitely black out. I often think why it is that whenever I happen to lose power it occurs on the darkest of nights with no moonlight what-so-ever? Well all that shows is the necessity of having a well equipped power outage Survival kit.
As usual your power outage kit must be ready to deploy with you should the need arise therefore I have found it best to assemble my kit within a backpack of some sort. Hanging your kit on a door hook behind the kitchen door or a close by bedroom door is a smart trick and assures that it is readily available in the dark should it be needed.
Items which I always consider keeping in the kit would include:
1. A battery operated or hand cranked radio complete with extra batteries.
2. A Clock which operates on battery power. I have combined both the hand cranked radio and a clock in one unit I have purchased however sometimes the clock loses its time when the battery is weak so I highly advise keeping a battery clock handy.
3. Now this next item is very important. Keep a non cordless telephone in your power outage bag to connect directly to the telephone line. Portable telephones will not function when you have no power available. I also maintain a cell phone however needless to say the numbers are different so I try to maintain both on hand for emergencies.
4. You can never have enough lanterns or flashlights along with their associated extra batteries. This is also a function of my cranking radio-clock but we try to maintain a flashlight or lantern in every room of our home. This will prevent accidental falls in the dark.
Several 6 to 12 hour light sticks are useful for keeping in your black out kit also. They are a lot of fun also for the kids.
6. A digital quick response food thermometer is a useful addition to your kit. Perishable food temperatures should not reach above 40 degrees for more then a 2 hour period. Use this thermometer to periodically check the internal temperature of the food for harmful bacteria conditions.
7. We keep several candles available in the kit however we use them strictly in a dire emergency because of the fire hazard associated with them. Usually we prefer the battery flashlights and lanterns. A quick note on fire safety is to ensure that all your smoke and fire detectors have a battery backup.
8. If you or a family member happens to be on any sort of medical equipment ensure that you have an alternate means of power for it. I always have small portable power units that can easily be carried around. Should it require refrigeration maintain a small cooler with ice packs in it. The breakable ice packs are great for this. I also maintain a DC operated cooler for this purpose if needed. Keep extra medications in the event that pharmacies do not have back up power and are not working.
9. Generators can be useful however take appropriate precautions in regards to proper ventilation. I consider the preferred method to be having your generator outside and connecting it to an indoor power receptacle specifically for the generator.
10. Keep paper products available as well as a manual can opener.
11. Store up on one gallon of water per person along with a supply of paper cups. A neat little trick is to store several containers of clean water in your freezer. In case you lose power to help to keep your food cold and as it melts you can use it as drinking water.
12. You should also consider an alternate cooking source such as a BBQ grill or a small propane camping stove. I keep both available.
13. Should heat be necessary always maintain extra means of heat such as blankets, fireplace or heat source. We generally keep extra blankets readily available as well as a kerosene heater for use if the main heating system fails to operate due to the lack of electricity.
That about wraps it up. You can conclude your pack with several personal items that you and your family members consider essential. Keep in mind if you have a Bug out vehicle that is equipped with people items for emergencies you could easily move to it temporarily. Campers and motor homes are especially useful in emergency black outs.