One can never be over prepared for a power outage. The fact is every month of the year there is an earthquake, hurricane, tornado, or disastrous fire. But you don’t have to experience Hurricane Ike to know the importance of being equipped for a major disaster. I am sure you have witnessed a storm or two and have been left without electricity. More often than not, local businesses will be sold out of emergency items. So today is the best time to take action and supply your home with the necessary equipment and goods for any crisis.
Below is a list that will help secure your home in case of any emergency or major disaster.
- Food and Water
- Stock your cupboards with a healthy supply of food that will last up to a week. Dried goods like nuts, raisins, jerky, or fruit leather require no refrigeration and have a very long shelf life.
- Canned goods will last quite a while. Make sure you have a manual can opener handy instead of an electric one.
- Store a good supply of water. Bottled water with a tight seal is usually your best bet. Change your stored water about every six months.
- Stay away from buying salty foods such as potato chips, crackers, and popcorn, these products have a high salt content and will make you thirsty.
- Bottled juice is also a good alternative to water.
- Check on your food supply periodically for expiration dates; replace items when needed.
- During an outage, your freezer will keep food for about 48 hours if full and about 24 hours if it’s half full.
- A 50-pound bag of dry ice will keep things cold for about 2 days.
- Candles are great for immediate lighting when the power goes out. Place them in a drawer for easy access. Emergency candles usually last a lot longer than the decorative kinds. Buy at least 4 boxes to add to your emergency supplies.
- Kerosene lamps are a good alternative to candles. They put out a lot of light and burn a long time on little oil. Keep plenty of kerosene oil on hand and have good ventilation due to the fumes.
- Have a few flashlights. You could also consider a solar flashlight.
- Solar power generators are a great way to produce electricity. You could go straight from solar panels to battery storage or if the appliances use DC power if you rather AC power, which would use an inverter for what ever you, plug into a 120 outlet. Many have a built in cable with adapters and also a compartment to hold batteries for charging.
Heating, Cooking, and Cooling
- For heating you can use a Kerosene heater. They don’t require electricity or batteries. Usually 2 gallons of oil will burn up to 12 hours. An option for cooking is a Coleman stove. Again, make sure you have adequate ventilation because the fumes can be toxic.
- If you like the idea of solar, a solar generated heater can be quite efficient. If it’s summertime and you live in a hot climate, a few fans would be a good investment. Make sure they are battery operated.
- If you live in a cold climate, make sure that you have warm items such as blankets, coats, hats, and sleeping bags. You never know how long you will be without heat.
Make sure to have a very large supply of batteries. Depending on your needs, there are many types that you will probably have to buy. For instance, you will need batteries for: flashlights
- Cell phones
- Cell phone chargers
- As well, if you have battery backup, keep your batteries in optimal condition.
Solar and Battery Operated Electronics
Store a wind up or battery operated clock.
- Buy a radio if you don’t have one.
- Make sure the radio is battery or solar powered.
- Batteries and a built-in solar cell power some solar radios.
- Having a phone is always a good idea.
- There are cell and landline phones that take batteries and some are also solar generated.
- A laptop can be a good source for communication.
- Most laptops have a back up system that runs on batteries, make sure you have extra when the batteries die.
Tools and Miscellaneous
- Matches inside of a waterproof container. Usually wooden matches are best.
- A whistle.
- Tools such as a hammer, ax, screwdriver, and hand wood saw.
- A fire extinguisher
- A first aide kit is essential, make sure you have band aides, antiseptic, peroxide, etc.
- Items for babies, such as formula, diaper, and bottles.
- A supply of vitamins, toothpaste, prescription medications, contact lens solutions, and hearing aid batteries are items often overlooked.
- Makes sure you know where the hospital, fire station, and police are located.
- Know where the safe and dangerous places are in your house.
- Know the escape route from your home incase you have to evacuate.
- Have a meeting place for everyone in case the family gets separated.
- Know where you insurance and vital records are located as well as your credit cards.
- Have cash and coins available.