Don’t wait to be in the dark to find out you’re in the dark. Are you equipped for a power outage? A power outage can even occur in perfect weather, thanks to a construction team “hitting a wire.”
Batteries. Don’t have these scattered haphazardly in some drawer. Battery holders are sold that you can hang and place batteries in “pockets” for tip-top organization.
- Have the power company’s phone number somewhere that it won’t get lost so that you can find out the estimated time of power recovery.
- Even in this age of smartphones, you should always have a landline phone, because a power outage can cripple cell phone towers. Yes, the primitive phone system can save the day.
- Know how to use your car’s battery to charge your cell phone, just in case your landline doesn’t work.
- Have a self-powered radio on hand, but you’ll have batteries on hand so that you won’t need one, right?
Lights. Designate an easily-accessible compartment in your house to store light-yielding devices including headlamps and flashlights. This compartment should be labeled with glow-in-the-dark stickers for easy finding. Invest in “smart lighting”. Yes, I said smart. The BeOn system of smart lights doubles as a home security system and works when the powers off. BeON operates during a power outage for general illumination as well (not just the security function). BeOn duplicates your activities when you’re not home, making it seem that you’re inside and doing your usual living. BeOn has a Kickstarter campaign that anyone serious about home security and preparedness should check out.
Candles. Forget candles; they can start fires. Keep glow sticks on hand, too, but in the freezer so that they last longer when it’s time to use them.
Sustenance. Designate a section in your pantry for emergency food—items that are to be used only in the event of an outage. Bagged and canned items can last seemingly forever. And don’t forget a can opener—one you use by hand, of course. Also keep plenty of bottled water in this section.
Like the good life? If during a power outage you don’t think you’d take to living on a limited diet very well, then have on hand a gas camping stove, but chances are, you’re not going to be too picky about the menu when there’s no power.
Got kids? A power outage could throw them for a loop, so have a plan ready to keep them calm and collected. This can be any number of board games in stock, or more creative ways to pass the time like seeing how many braids you can put in your daughter’s hair by LED light.
First aid kit. Keep this in an easy-to-find location and know exactly what’s in it.