This year has put many of us in “prepping” mode and recently I put together a power outage kit. To be honest, I was never proactive or aware of potential emergencies before 2020. I used to roll my eyes at “doomsday preppers” and didn’t believe anything would EVER happen to me.
I’ve basically done a 180 and want to be prepared for allll the things. I haven’t stockpiled enough toilet paper for a family of 452952 – don’t worry!
The last few weeks I have heard of so many people going without power for 2-4 days. Maybe I’m just extra sensitive to this info this year, but it seems common!
I thought I’d put together a power outage kit that I can easily grab if the power goes out in our home. This is especially important if it happens at nighttime and you can’t even locate a flashlight!
POWER OUTAGE KIT
A flashlight is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of power outages!
I so rarely use a flashlight anymore and always just use the flashlight on my phone! But in the case of a power outage, that might not be an option.
I would love to eventually purchase a solar powered flashlight or lantern!
Equally as important as a flashlight is batteries to go in your flashlight! When I went to test my flashlights, they were all nearly dead.
I purchased a large package of batteries and will store them in my power outage kit but NOT inside the flashlights. They should be shelf stable for 10 years.
You’ll want to make sure you have the appropriate batteries for anything you’ll need during an emergency outage.
A pair of scissors are always convenient in any emergency situation!
I also wanted to ensure that I have a pair of scissors to open the new package of batteries I purchased. I figured it’s best to keep them in the sealed plastic for as long as possible.
POCKET KNIFE / MULTI-TOOL
A pocket knife or multi-tool is also convenient in emergencies. This could replace scissors or could just be in addition to them.
Candles are convenient to have in an electricity outage for a small amount of light! They also help to add coziness + comfort when things might feel chaotic.
Additionally, I have battery operated candles (and extra batteries) that would work well and be safer around children + pets.
MATCHES / LIGHTER
There are several different options for starting fires / lighting candles. Make sure to choose one that you can actually use! I HATE using small cigarette lighters. I’d much rather use a match or BBQ lighter.
If you choose matches make sure they are in a waterproof container.
Another option is a magnesium fire stick which can be used over + over again.
FIRST AID KIT
A first aid kit is important to have on hand all the time, but especially during any emergency situation.
Most stores sell mini first aid kits with bandaids, alcohol swabs, gauze, etc and they’re very affordable!
I haven’t personally added a radio radio to our emergency kit, because I think we’d just do our own thing if something did happen. LOL.
A radio would be a good option if you like to stay in touch with the news + what’s going on in the world.
CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR
It’s always important to have a carbon monoxide detector in your home. Be sure to buy one that has a battery back-up option. This can become even more important if you’re running a generator or camp stoves inside, which are typically meant for outdoor use.
PROLONGED CITY-WIDE POWER OUTAGE
If the power in your entire city/region is out for several days, you may begin encountering more problems that wouldn’t be covered with a basic power outage kit!
Some issues that come with prolonged city wide power outages are:
- Loss of cellphone reception
- Loss of water / hot water
- Inability to pay with debit / credit
- Store closures
I can remember two times in my lifetime (27 years 😉) where we had major power outages!
The first time was summer 2003 we experienced a several day blackout. I was only 10 (The power actually went of during my birthday party) so I don’t remember the details or how it impacted the world, but I do remember it being a big deal! Grocery stores were at minimal capacity, and I remember my parents telling us to not open the fridge / freezer too much!
The second time I experienced a prolonged power outage was Christmas 2013. We had a HUGE ice storm that took out power for several days.
We were in the middle of travelling out of town and weren’t hugely affected since the area we travelled to had power. But I remember family members being without power for 3-4 days…in a Canadian winter!
I remember stopping at a Tim Hortons off the highway and the sign on the door said they were only serving 1 coffee per person. No other food / drinks were available and you had to pay cash!
LONG TERM POWER OUTAGE
In the case of a long term power outage, you’ll need more than a few candles + flashlights!
Humans need food, water and shelter for basic survival. These are things you should try to invest in as you can!
Food storage is going to look different for everyone based on space, finances and preference. For most people it’s not realistic to stock a 2-3 month food storage right away. Other people might have the finances but not the space available for storage!
I have a few blog posts that go into depth on emergency food storage:
Water storage / filtration is incredibly important in the case of an emergency!
Again, this will look different for everyone! Depending on where you live you might need to have water stored in case of an emergency.
Personally we do not store any water. We live within a kilometre of a river that always runs very high all summer. And we are nearly guaranteed to have snow from November-April (or longer) that we can boil and use in our home if we needed to!
We DO however have a filtration system that we could use in any emergency. We invested in this filter this year for daily use in our home knowing it would also be excellent in an emergency! It can literally filter puddle water into safe drinking water!
If we didn’t have this filter, I would at least invest in something like a life straw! We didn’t love our lifestraws for camping, but they would be better than nothing in an emergency situation!
Personally, shelter is my #1 concern should we have a prolonged power outage. Since we have very long, very cold winters I know we would not be able to stay in our home if the power (and our furnace) were off for more than 1-2 days.
One of our top priorities for our next home is a wood stove and/or wood burning fireplace! However, since this house doesn’t have that I am more concerned about staying warm if something was to happen.
This year we finally invested in a back-up generator! We haven’t used it yet so I can’t give a proper review). My dream would eventually be to purchase a solar powered generator, but that was out of our budget currently!