Alternative Energy

Power Outage Tips: How to Prep for a Blackout




In case of a blackout, preparedness is key. Learn how to prepare for a power outage by thinking ahead and stocking up on the necessary supplies.

How to Prepare for a Blackout

Power or electricity has become a basic survival need for mankind. From our homes to offices, everyday life depends on the power supply. Imagine you and your family being forced out of your houses in the midst of extreme winter conditions with nothing but a few supplies. What could be worst is being displaced and shoved into a community center with hundreds of other families and minimal supplies.

This scenario above is not just limited to underdeveloped or developing nations; it is what many people in developed nations have also seen.

The Danger of Power Outages

One such example was the evening of December 20th, 2013 when Canada and the United States were struck by a catastrophic storm that led to cities being deprived of power for days. Other causes of power breakdowns include power grid breakdown or equipment breakdown where disruption in consumption causes lines to trip which cuts the power. Power breakdowns make life activities difficult, hence it is important to be as prepared for such events as possible.

december 20 2013 ice storm
The ice storm of December 20, 2013 was devastating for much of the northern US and Canada. (Image via Wikipedia)

As soon as the power grids fail, power is lost which leads all modern ways of communication, lighting, sanitation, cooking, refrigeration, and transportation to come to an abrupt stop. Within the first few days of power cuts, fuel and transportation cycles get disturbed which lead to a shortage of food, medicines and other such necessities. Already available supplies are priced at exorbitantly high rates that many cannot afford.

How to Stay Prepared for a Blackout

Relying on emergency aid and supplies is foolish; it is better to be prepared yourself. For preparations, make a list of the things you would need to survive fourteen days without internet and electricity. This is the starting point. Once the list is complete, it is time to stock up!

emergency water stockpile
You should have enough food, water and other supplies to last you two weeks in case of a power outage. (Image via Common Sense Home)

For long-term power breakdowns, having a dependable source of power such as fuel-less generators, solar powered generators, solar panels or solar generator kits are very important. When power fails, chaos falls and in such situations a backup source of energy is a blessing.

Solar powered equipment is more useful because if power shortages stretch for more than a week, obtaining fuel can be an issue. The sun, being a resource that is always available, it can provide great relief. Alternate sources of energy will make sure communication can take place, there is a safe place stocked with supplies to stay. It can also help provide shelter to friends and neighbors who were not smart enough to be prepared for the worst. Long- term power shortages are the real problem; having an alternative source of energy ensures survival if power breakdowns last for days instead of hours.

solar generator
A solar generator is one good source of energy during a power outage. (Image via)

Power outages that last for a week or more can also lead to civil unrest. Survival becomes a struggle when basic necessities such as fuel and food fall short. The best way to survive is to prepare beforehand. Storage spaces should be created that can be accessed in the dark. Stock that can last about two weeks should be piled. Your food stockpile should be such that it does not perish or go stale. Items such as Fruit Powders, Vegetable Powders, Vegetable Protein Powder, Activez Fruit and Vegetable Powder, Spinach Food Powder, Spinach Powder, Frozen Dried Fruits, and Dried Food are perfect examples of products that can be used to prepare for such times. This product will never let you run out of battery life and perfect for blackout preparedness.

Planning is Key

Plans should be made regarding food preparation, living, sleeping and sanitation. Children and elderly citizens should be kept in mind when making such plans.

Disposable tableware, anti-bacterial wipes, tissue papers, sanitizers, baby wipes are very important to store as they ensure hygiene. Water should be stored too. It is advisable to fill up tubs as soon as you find out about a long term power breakdown. Water from the tub can be used to bathe, clean and for manual flushing. Extra water should also be stored in fridge so that ample drinking water is available too. Storing water purification tablets seems to be a good idea in such circumstances.

full bathtub
When you hear word of a power outage, fill up the bathtub so that this source of water doesn't go to waste. (Image via)

Light products such as torches, candles, glow sticks and flashlights should be bought in advance and stored in a place where they can be easily accessed in case of power breakdowns. Candles should be placed in pots so that probability of fire related incidents can be reduced. Extra batteries should be in the stockpile of light related products. To charge cell phones, power banks should be charged and stored too.

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Prepping Your First Aid Kit

Emergencies in chaotic situations are very likely. Having medications to last a few weeks is a good idea. First aid kits should include band aids, antibiotics, pain killers, anti-allergies, gauze, tape, scissors and other such essentials.

Communication is another key to survival. Radios serve to be great life savers in such times of power crisis. One can stay updated about the work that is being done to restore power, about the natural calamity that hit and about evacuation plans. Radios can also serve to be a great distraction to divert the mind, something that the panicked you would need at that hour.

Non-electric games such as cards and Monopoly should also be handy so that one can remain cool and pass time. Games will uplift the spirit and keep the optimism alive.

People today are so used to technology and power that they do not realize the extent of damage a long term power breakdown can cause. In times of chaos and long term power breakdown, two things helps one going: planning beforehand and keeping a positive attitude. A positive attitude will help you rationalize and make informed decisions, which can ensure survival only if crisis planning is done properly.

What are your favorite power outage preparedness tips? Share them with us in the comments!

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  3. Mark

    January 4, 2017 at 11:43 AM

    In regards to communication….I took a CERT class recently. There was little about communication. The exercise at the end of the class was about a natural disaster (tornado) in the city, which downed the electrical grid. The first responders had their own communication system, but there was no “back and forth” system for the general public to receive info except for a battery powered radio for one way broadcast. I suggested an old standby, the CB radio, but the instructor didn’t give that suggestion any “weight”.

    You guys should start selling basic CB radios. I have a marine radio too, which is more powerful, but limited in its band broadcasting.

    • Bob

      January 13, 2017 at 3:20 PM

      Getting a “ham” license is one of the best ways for communication. You just have to get more than the basic license to be able to get a decent distance. Forget about VHF/UHF walkie talkies. They are limited to about a few miles or less and you can’t depend on repeaters since they will be out also. There are low powered, single band units that go for about $200 new and 20 watts (even 5 watts) on the right band can get a signal halfway across the country.

  4. Hornet

    January 13, 2017 at 10:36 AM

    Radios, lamps flashlights, short wave radios, all in a Faraday cage. You never know.

  5. Anonymous

    November 18, 2017 at 8:43 AM

    If there weren’t strips of icons for Facebook, Twitter, pinterest, etc down the sides of the screen, I could actually read articles from this site on my phone.
    I guess advertisers are more important than readers.

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