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.
5. 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
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.