Preparing for a Power Outage – Are You Ready?

When my son was 6 weeks old, the Atlanta area was hit with a massive ice storm.  We lost power for several days in the middle of January. The temperature in my house was in the 40s.  Needless to say, we were cold and miserable for a while.  As soon as we recovered, we decided we would never end up unprepared for a power outage ever again.  Preparing for a power outage is important to protect yourself, your family, and your belongings.  You will need different supplies for a winter power outage versus a summer power outage.  With summer storms gearing up soon, I thought I would help you start preparing for a power outage so that you are ready in case of emergency!

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Preparing for a Power Outage - Are You Ready?

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Preparing for a Power Outage

Neighborhood power outages are becoming a common occurrence. These losses of power can occur in any weather but usually happen during the summer months, when electricity use is highest to cool homes and businesses. However, power outages can occur in the middle of winter, cutting off heating systems and cooking appliances. You can be ready for these inconvenient outages by keeping a few supplies on hand.

Preparing for a Power Outage - Are You Ready

Stock up on Shelf Stable Food

Refrigerated food will stay cold for several hours. You should routinely keep a number of items in storage that do not require cooking or refrigeration. You can stock up on granola bars, peanut butter, crackers, canned food, boxed or dry milk, dry cereal and nuts for emergencies. If you have natural gas for your cooking needs, you will still be able to ignite the burners with a match. However, those communities that only use electricity for cooking should have food on hand that requires no cooking or have a camp stove on hand for these emergencies.

Canned or Bottled Drinks

Keep canned fruit juice, bottled water, and instant coffee on hand for times when you can’t depend on power for your refrigeration and cooking needs. Good hydration is especially important during hot weather when the power is out.


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Flashlights and batteries

Keep several flashlights or camping lights on hand for power outages and other types of emergencies. Also, store plenty of additional batteries for each type of device. Avoid depending on candles while the power is out, which are a fire hazard. Consider getting an emergency flashlight that can be powered by a hand crank.

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Emergency Radio

A battery powered radio is a necessity in any emergency. Weather conditions that cause power outages may also cut cell phone service, so a radio may be the only way to know what’s going on in your community. A number of different types of radios are available to help you stay informed of local conditions.

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A high-quality cooler is an important part of your emergency equipment and can be useful in a number of ways while you are waiting for power to return. Fill some freezer bags full of ice to keep on hand when the power goes out. This additional ice will not only help to keep frozen items cold while the power is out, it can also be used to keep frequently used items chilled, so there’s no need to keep opening the refrigerator, a strategy that will keep other items cold for a longer period of time. If you have a small infant in the house, you may need to keep formula, medicines or other items at a low temperature. Some types of medication require refrigeration, such as insulin, liquid

If you have a small infant in the house, you may need to keep formula, medicines or other items at a low temperature. Some types of medication require refrigeration, such as insulin and liquid antibiotics. By storing these drugs in a cooler filled with ice, you can keep your refrigerator closed as much as possible to retain cold temperatures until electrical power returns.

Preparing for a Power Outage - Are You Ready?

Blankets and Sleeping Bags

In cold climates, keeping extra blankets and sleeping bags on hand to stay warm can be critical in preventing hypothermia, especially for small children and older family members. Put on additional clothing until the heat returns.  In our first home, my husband and I installed an indoor gas heater after the horrors of the ice storm.  It was nice knowing we had a safe source of heat when the power went out.

You need to start preparing for a power outage now, before you actually lose power! Store your emergency power outage kit in a closet or basement so that you can quickly utilize it when needed. By having these items where they are readily available, you can weather any power outage with the minimum of inconvenience.

Have you put together an emergency power outage kit yet?

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  1. Oh really, I was under the impression that there is generator back up everywhere in US. I understand , Generators cannot suffice for longer duration though..
    • My dad has a generator because they live far north and in winter could freeze to death without one if the power goes out. But, generators are definitely not in every home!
  2. This is a great post! I am currently living in a small town in China right now, and occasionally, I will experience a power outage, so this a great topic.

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