How to Prepare for a Power Outage Before It Occurs

Clint Bird

Written By Clint Bird

Published 03/29/22
How to Prepare for a Power Outage

A power outage doesn't need to bring your life to a standstill. With a reasonable amount of preparation, you can weather a moderate blackout in relative comfort. According to the EIA, on average, U.S. electricity customers experienced approximately five and one-half hours of electricity interruptions in 2022. This statistic underscores the importance of readiness and resilience in managing power outages effectively.

Some helpful things to have for power outage events are obvious enough, but others might surprise you. This article will review the most important supplies to have on hand in the event of a power outage that persists for several days.

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How to Prepare for Power Outage Events

When the lights go out, you want to stay warm, fed, hydrated, and entertained. You also want to be prepared for emergencies. Here's what to buy for power outage events.

1. Nonperishable food

You'll probably get by with the food in your kitchen and pantry if a power outage lasts a day or two, but for outages that persist for many days, you'll need some backup items. Stock up on shelf-stable foods that don't need to be refrigerated. Canned soups, fish, vegetables, and fruits are good to have on hand. You can also purchase crackers, cereals, peanut butter, nuts, dried fruit, and granola. If you have a camping stove, grill, or other method of cooking without electricity, keep rice, pasta, beans, lentils, and oats on hand as well.

2. Water

Water is of the upmost necessity when preparing for power outage events. Cases of bottled water can last you several days. Better still are gallon or five-gallon jugs of water. Remember that you need water for washing and cooking in addition to drinking. Also, most toilets will still flush when the power is out if you manually refill the tank with water.

If you don't have the space to store enough water to meet your needs for several days, invest in water filtration and purification devices. These come in a wide variety of designs, and many are quite affordable. If you opt to purify your water, identify a reliable water source in advance.

3. Lighting

There's no need to sit in the dark. Keep battery-powered flashlights and lamps on hand for reliable lighting. Ensure that you have plenty of spare batteries.

Candles work too, but there's the risk of fire. Never leave a candle unattended. Keep a reliable fire extinguisher nearby. If a lit candle causes a fire, the circumstances of the power outage could delay the notification or response of your fire department.

4. Gear to stay warm

If a power outage occurs in the winter, you'll need to stay warm. Wool blankets, down comforters, thermal sleeping bags, sweaters, long underwear, hats, and gloves are all important to have. You can also keep a box of hand and foot warmers. Much of this gear is available at sporting goods stores.

If you have a working fireplace, store seasoned firewood in a cool, dry place to have at the ready. Remember to have matches and kindling as well.

5. Communication devices

You can stay connected to family, friends, and authorities without electricity. Buy a battery-powered radio and spare batteries so you can stay updated on the news and receive information from government officials. A mobile hotspot with spare batteries can provide internet access, assuming the power outage has not affected your local telecommunications infrastructure.

It's a good idea to have spare or external phone batteries too. This will allow you to check-in with family and friends and seek power outage help from the authorities in the event of an emergency.

6. First-aid kits and hygiene products

Every home needs a first-aid kit with bandages, gauze, dressings, tape, antiseptic wipes, ointment, tweezers, gloves, and an instant cold compress. The circumstances of a power outage may impede your access to medical responders, so you need to have the resources to attend to injuries by yourself.

Also maintain a store of hygiene products that require minimal amounts of water. This includes body wipes, antibacterial wipes, soap, and hand sanitizers.

7. Recreational materials

Having a variety of things to do with no electricity makes a power outage much more manageable. Collect books, puzzles, board games, decks of cards, drawing materials, and acoustic instruments.

8. Fuel

A spare canister of gasoline can keep you mobile even if the gas pumps are without power. If you have an outdoor grill or a generator, ensure that you have plenty of extra fuel.

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Power outages are inevitable, but warranty protection for your home systems and appliances can reduce the likelihood of power failures and ensure that your generator is ready to go when you need it. Whether you want robust insurance for all your home systems or a more targeted home electronics warranty for your personal devices, Liberty Home Guard is there for you. Use our website for a free quote or call (866)-834-5570.

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