Power outages can be fairly scary, especially if you have been without power for a couple of days. Most people do not even know how much they are relying on electricity, and once the power goes down they will have no clue what to do, this is why it is a good idea to get a list of items with which you will be fully prepared for the power outage.
In case of a power outage, you will also probably lose access to running water as the water supply companies also use electricity to pump water. You might think that you can just go to the market and buy water, but during a power outage most shops will either be closed or the ones that are open are probably overrun by people. To avoid this situation you have to think of how you will purify your water, my recommendation is to get a water filtration system which comes with a 0.2 Micron filter Click here to check it out on Amazon.com
No matter what type of SHTF event occurs, from hurricanes, tornadoes, floods earthquakes, or other man-made or natural disasters there will be a high probability that the power grid will be down. There isn’t even a need for a major SHTF event to occur in order to lose power for several days as you have probably noticed. Preppers usually store food supplies which do not need any power as these are mostly nonperishables.
The priority of the government and FEMA in any SHTF event search and rescue people, this can take several weeks. Only after the search and rescue have been concluded the rebuilding part will start and usually it will take a long time till the authorities get the power grid back up. The main reason why it will take a long time to get power back is that when the rebuilding starts the first step is to remove all the rubble if several homes have deteriorated the higher demand for removing rubbles will be.
People who have been affected by hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and so on can confirm that getting a hold of a contractor to remove the rubble and actually start rebuilding the house is almost impossible due to high demand. Keep in mind that electrical companies can only rebuild the power grid infrastructure if it is safe for them to do so. In addition to this, you will need some food to eat when power is out, so you better be prepared.
Without water, the average human can survive only for 3 days. You need to make sure to get as much water as possible as you can never know how long the power outage may last. In the case of a major power outage not only you will not be able to buy more water but the water supply will also stop working. Before making any calculations on how much water you should buy you have to consider that you will use water not only for drinking but for cooking, washing, flushing, and so on. If you are wondering if it is safe to drink the expired bottled water you should check out my article How long can you store bottled water ( Home, Garage, Car ).
Water filter and purification system
As the power goes does so is the water treatment facility which means no more water from your tap. At some point, you might be forced to look for additional sources of water, for this case you will need a good water purification system. There are a lot of ways how you can purify water from boiling it, filtering it, using capsules to gravity aided water purification systems. No matter which of them you choose, make sure you have a good set up to be able to purify your water. One of my favorite items for filtering water is the Lifestraw, recently I have written an article about Do Lifestraws work? ( Or do they? ) and to nobody else’s surprise, they actually work, they come especially handy during an SHTF scenario.
First aid kit
This is a must-have especially in a power outage situation, odds are if you do not have power for several days that the local hospital also doesn’t have power. Your hygiene will probably not be the best as without power there is no water and cleaning yourself will become much more difficult. In this case cuts and bruises can get easily infected which you should avoid at all costs. One of the most important products for power outage will be the first aid kits.
Canned foods are excellent as these do not need to be refrigerated, and are require no cooking in most cases. Just keep in mind to store them at a fairly constant temperature. Best to avoid canned foods that have some kind of sauce in them these tend to be acidic and they will spoil much faster than conventional canned foods. If you want to find out which canned foods have the longest shelf life check out my article Longest lasting canned foods ( Up to 30+ years ).
You can eat this right out of the box or add milk or some powdered milk and water to it.
These are usually packed with a lot of sugar and vitamins, although it is not recommended to eat them regularly you should still have at least some for the harder days.
This is excellent food, no special storing conditions needed and have a high-calorie index.
Do not underestimate the power of vitamins, most canned and dried foods lack certain vitamins and without them, your situation could go from bad worse in a few days. In the case of a power outage, you will have difficulty in procuring foods with a lot of vitamins such as vegetables.
You can find almost any food in powder form, although these usually lack essential vitamins and will need some preparation to be able to be consumed, these are still a good way to storing food which doesn’t need any power to remain “fresh”. These usually only need water and some cooking to be edible, but my recommendation is to combine it with dried foods as you do not want an only liquid diet as this will eventually lead up to diarrhea. Some say that powdered foods have an acquired taste, this is true but the taste you are feeling is not a good one.
While these are somewhat processed and dehydrated these still keep a portion of their vitamins. In addition to this, you could use them in combination with powdered foods to make a more nutritious meal.
Food for pets
If you have pets do not forget to get food for them, while they can eat most of the foods humans can, it is preferred that they eat actual food which is made for them.
You might not think this is important, but have you ever eaten any food without any spices on it. If you are not used to eating foods that have no spice on them, not even salt or sugar you will find the taste of food to be so bland that Gordon Ramsey will start yelling at you.
Toilet papers, towels, toothpaste or powder, soap and so on. Make sure you have enough for each family member and do keep in mind that everything related to hygiene also needs water.
Aim to get some mixed nuts as these are high in fats and vitamins.
Preserved meats such as canned tuna, beef jerky, and spam have high contents of proteins and low amounts of fat. These have a fairly long shelf life although they are a very poor source of vitamins, in addition to this, preserved meats are high in salt which will make you thirsty a lot.
Every family has different needs in terms of medication, the young and the elderly are especially vulnerable if they have no access to their medication. Also, antibiotics are extremely important to fend off bacterial infections, usually, these antibiotics do need a prescription but there are other methods of stockpiling antibiotics. In my article How to get antibiotics for prepping? ( Top 18 Sources ) you will learn several ways of getting antibiotics without even needing any documents.
While you will not get your fuel from your local grocery this is still an essential item, you can use it to power your generator and vehicle. Keep in mind that once the power goes out it will be very difficult if not impossible to buy fuel, just be careful how and where you store it and make sure it is in a well-ventilated room.
This will depend entirely on what climate you are located, but if you live in a colder climate you will have a hard time heating your house without electricity. You might think that all you need is gas for your heater to work but most of these do need electricity to function. In addition to this, there is no guarantee that you will have any gas during the power outage as gas lines could also be affected by the lack of electricity.
This is very circumstantial as not everybody will need it, people who tend to have a lot of stored food in freezers and for businesses like restaurants. You should research your local area for where you can get dried ice, usually, it is better to be prepared for a power outage so order some dry ice and store them in your freezer. One of the major benefits of using dry ice is that this doesn’t melt and it actually evaporates, which means no water which could contaminate your food.
Pasta, rice, and beans
These 3 food items are excellent in a power outage, all you need for them is some hot water and they also have a shelf life of years if stored correctly.
While cleaning cups can be made with a simple rinse, it is still a good idea to have some plastic cups.
Usually, power generators are fairly expensive but there are solar panels which are a lot cheaper. Your main goal should not be to power your entire house but just a few essential items like your phone, radio and your indoor lights. Most of these generators will have no problem powering your fridge also, which is a big bonus in my opinion.
You will probably want to be able to use some dishes to eat, but as there is no electricity cleaning these dishes will be a difficult task. Also cleaning dishes requires a lot of water, but you will not have this problem with styrofoam plates, they don’t need to be styrofoam any plates which are made for single use are also good. In case you do not want to use single-use dishes you can get plates coated with ceramic or Teflon, which you can easily clean with only a tissue.
Buy as many batteries and then some for your battery-powered devices.
My recommendation is to get either a solar-powered or a hand-cranked flashlight.
There are several solar rechargers on the market currently, most of these are excellent for recharging your phone and other small devices.
Once the power goes out in the surrounding area you will be amazed how dark it actually becomes without the surrounding light pollution. Always have at least a couple of candles to ensure you have light during the night, and in case of desperation, you can also somewhat heat a small room with candles. Some people will also make a power outage bag, which is a good idea, but the problem with it is that it will not fit a lot of things, like candles for example.
These used to be fairly popular in the ’50s and ’60s, they give out a good amount of light and the wick will burn for months.
This only applies to people who have children, babies especially toddlers have a limited number of foods which they can eat. Although just a few decades ago there was no baby formula and feeding them was done by mothers chewing the food for them and giving it to the baby.
While some cans come with an inbuilt can opener there are still some that don’t, to avoid the hassle to open it with a knife just get a simple metal can opener.
Drying off without electricity or central heating could become problematic especially in colder climates.
You will have to be able to still cook even if there is a power outage, in this case, you will probably cook using a small fire. While you can still use your household cooking utensils, camping cookware is specially designed for outdoor cooking.
You will never know when a rope could be useful until you need one.
You will be amazed at how versatile and useful something as simple as duct tape can be.
Lighters, matches or specially designed fire starting kits will also do.
This is especially important in the case of floods, as the mosquito population will explode after a flood. Not only these carry a lot of diseases but they are also extremely annoying.
If you live in a house you probably own at least a small tool kit, if not get one asap.
Almost everything in our foods and sodas, are packed with sugar, once these are not available some people might get a sugar crash. In order to avoid this get some powdered juice mixes, this will be especially helpful if you have children as you can use these a treat for them behaving well.
Power outages can happen at any point, most of these power outages last only a couple of hours. But in some local SHTF events, you could find yourself without power for days or even weeks. If you live in a disaster-prone area it is wise to have a list of items which you constantly have at your home, this way you will not be among the other people trampling each other for a gallon of water at your local supermarket.