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Top 5 Best Power Outage Essentials

During my junior year of high school, there was a giant flood in my hometown. It took out parts of the freeway, damaged homes, and took out the power. I had just gotten home from soccer practice and needed to take a shower. I lit some candles, but my shower was still very dark. Later that night, my dad and I sat around a camp stove on my kitchen table and ate leftover soup and melting ice cream while we wore headlamps to see our food. 

Sometimes having the power go out can be kind of fun. You get to light a bunch of candles and test yourself as you walk through your house in the dark. But, at the end of the day, it’s easier to shower with the light on and cook dinner on the stove. During the winter months, it’s wise to prepare for the power to go out as snow often builds on power lines and breaks them. You can prepare for these emergencies by having the right supplies in your home. 

Flashlight/Candles

Thanks to daylight savings, it gets dark quite quickly in the winter. If your power goes out and it’s dark, you’ll want to be prepared with different methods of light. Flashlights and candles are great options for light sources, though you’ll want to make sure you are prepared with matches or a lighter and batteries for the flashlights. These items must be in a location you can safely and easily get to in the dark. 

Portable Phone Charger

Just because the power is out, it doesn’t mean cell towers are down. If you have an emergency or need to contact your local electric company, you won’t want to worry about the battery life of your cell phone. Having a portable phone charger that is set aside for emergencies with a full battery can help ensure that your phone won’t die. If you don’t have a portable charger, you can turn your car on and charge it outside, if it’s safe. Don’t start your car if it is in an enclosed garage.  

Portable Stove

If you’ve made your way through all your snacks and you are hungry for a hot meal, it can be useful to have a portable stove. Many campers use portable stoves that are powered by either wood or gas to heat their meals and water.

These stoves can come in handy for cooking a meal in your home when the power is out—though these stoves should only be used in a well-ventilated area. A portable stove is especially useful when you have extra water and food to cook. Make sure that you have a gallon of clean water that you can use during emergencies. 

Blankets

In the winter, if your power goes out, so will your heat unless you have a fireplace. Make sure you are prepared with enough heavy blankets to keep your whole family warm. And if you do have a fireplace, make sure you always have enough wood for an emergency. 

Battery-Operated Radio

A battery-operated radio is useful if your phone is dead or it won’t connect. Radios are reliable sources for emergency information and if you are on the right channel, it should be able to inform you of any news and weather reports. 

When the power goes out, be sure to turn off your appliances to avoid a circuit overload when the power comes back on. It’s smart to just leave one lamp on to signal that the power has come back on. When the power comes back on, you’ll want to make sure you have the right electrical supplies to check on your fuses, outlets, and power distributors. If you are prepared, a power outage is no big deal. Making a kit with water, flashlights, blankets, food, and batteries can ensure that you’ll be ready during any electrical emergency.

Photo Credit: UpSplash

What additional power outage essentials do you keep in your home?

icecreamnstickyfingers

Christy has three children. She has over 22 years of parenting experience, including parenting as a young mom, a single parent, and dealing with chronic illness/pain. When she isn't writing, you can find her coloring, playing Candy Crush, and listening to Taylor Swift.

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14 Comments

  1. It’s so important to have these essentials on hand for power outages. I hate it when our power goes out and I have to search and search for a flashlight and candles.

  2. We have a lot of these! We lived in Oklahoma and had them thanks to tornado season. We have tons of flashlights on hand.

  3. Monica Y says:

    We have been dealing with the power outages recently and this list is so helpful

  4. We used to lose power every time the wind blew. After 5 years of dealing with power nonsense, we bought a generator for the house. Of course, the power hasn’t went out in the neighborhood since we splurged on that purchase. You do have some great essentials listed here!

  5. Those things are essentials for sure. We have only experienced a few hours of power outages here, but we do need to get us a portable charger and a portable stove as well.

  6. These are all good things to keep stocked. I think we forget about having backup ways to charge our devices if the power goes out.

  7. These are all must-haves for us too. We’ve been through a few blackouts and flashlights & candles are probably at the top of our list of essentials.

  8. Yes to the blanket – it’s something we wouldn’t necessarily think of but it’s essential. Definitely should be on every family’s list for all emergencies.

  9. The California wildfires have resulted in lost power for my friends and family a lot this year. These are great things to have on hand for all of us so we are able to stay home when the lights go out.

  10. These are great tips. My sister lives in Northern California and is affected by the power outage due to fire. She told me that its a pretty stressful situation.

  11. Ruth I says:

    It is so important to have these! We always make sure to have portable charger, battery operated radio and lights.

  12. I’ve heard that you shouldn’t use candles unless they are flameless because if you accidentally knock them over in the dark they could start a fire or if there is a gas leak which can happen in certain situations where the power goes out.

  13. These are some great ideas! I think that flashlights and blankets are definitely must-haves for power outages, but these items are good ideas too.

  14. We always keep our portable phone charger ready for potential outages. It does come in handy. Glad to see you’ve included it as an essential in this list of items.

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