Power Outage Readiness
[catlist name="Articles-Week 3"]
Some other materials
The No-Power Challenge
How much do you rely on power for everything you do? This week, make a conscious effort to do some of the things you normally do without the help of power. Each day, share with us over on the Facebook page the things you’ve done manually. Some examples might be:
- Using alternative lighting instead of electrical
- Cooking a meal off-the-grid
- Watering the garden with buckets instead of a hose.
- Shutting off the TV for an evening and hanging out with the family – no electronics allowed
- Entertaining yourself without electricity (reading, doing a puzzle, doing a craft)
- Mixing a recipe by hand instead of with a mixer
You get the idea. The key here is to be cognizant of how much we rely on power and to practice ways of doing things so that it’s not so difficult and foreign when the grid is down.
Be sure to keep notes!
Weekly To Do List
Get Ready for a Power Outage
This week’s To-do list is all about getting ready for an incident that causes the electricity in your home to go out. Don’t let a sudden power outage take you and your family by surprise. Get prepared by taking the following steps:
- Place a battery or solar powered light source in each room. Anything powered by batteries should be fully charged, with 2 extra sets of batteries for each one.
- AAA batteries: _____________ needed/purchased
- AA batteries: _____________ needed/purchased
- D batteries: _____________ needed/purchased
- Make sure everyone in the family knows where these are located and are told to not use or move them until there’s an actual power outage!
- Buy a supply of candles and matches, but with this one warning: avoid open flame candles if you have young children. If you can use a candle safely, place it in front of a mirror for double the illumination.
- Kids need a flashlight or light stick near their beds for nighttime outages or emergencies.
- If an outage lasts for more than 6 hours during very cold or very hot temperatures, begin to make plans to evacuate to a warmer or cooler location, especially if your household includes infants, toddlers, the very elderly or anyone with chronic health issues.
- Purchase battery powered fans of different sizes, along with extra batteries.
- Buy an external battery pack for charging your cell phone and other small electronics. Keep it charged and stored where you can find it.
- If anyone in the family relies on medical equipment (CPAP machine, nebulizer, etc.), have a plan to keep them energized. For many of these, there are battery powered versions.
- If there is room in your freezer, fill several 2-liter bottles with water, leaving about 3 inches of air space at the top, and freeze them. These bottles of ice will help keep your freezer and/or refrigerator cool and can also be used in an ice chest.
- A power outage will affect operations of all ATM and banking machines. Stash at least $100 in small bills somewhere in the house, preferably in a fire-proof safe.
- Power outages also affect the fuel pumps at gas stations. If you can store fuel (gasoline or diesel) safely, begin filling and storing 5-gallon containers. Calculate how many you would need to completely fill each vehicle and that can become your fuel storage goal. Gasoline should be rotated, similar to food, so mark on each gas can the date it was purchased, and after 6 months or so, begin using old gasoline and replacing it with fresh.
- Do you have at least 2 different methods for cooking food and heating water? Recommended: a solar oven and a fuel efficient rocket stove. Both can be DIY projects or you can purchase them online.
- For any cooking method that requires fuel, begin stocking up enough to last for at least 30 days of daily cooking/heating water.
- Use the “Handy No-Cook Foods” printable to stock up on foods and snacks that do not require cooking. This will help conserve the fuel you have stored and will save time as well.
- During the summer months, houses can become too hot to remain in. Have a few supplies that would allow you to spend time outside in the shade:
- Tarps and ropes
- A pop-up canopy or two
- Mosquito netting, if skeeters are a problem
- Bug spray, citronella candles
*A checklist version of this Weekly Challenge can be found in Printables.
This week we are delighted to be giving away an AquaPail water filter valued at $249 from Preppers Market.
While most water filtration systems on the market only remove certain dangerous elements from your drinking water, the AquaPail™ Water Filtration System will remove or deactivate virtually all harmful substances from any non-salt water source. Within a matter of minutes, the AquaPail™ water filter will deliver safe drinking water by deactivating harmful bacteria, virus, cysts, such as cryptosporidium and giardia, and removing heavy metals.
- Batteries – stock up on AAA, AA, and D – be warned that the cheapo dollar store batteries don’t last long at all. You’ll spend less money in the long run by buying name brands in quantity
- Tea light candles
- Did you get that battery-operated fan yet?
- External battery pack for your cell phone
- Off-grid cooking method if you don’t have one yet – we recommend the Solavore solar oven (hurry and use the code summermom for 20% off through July 5!) or a rocket stove like the Volcano 3.
- Disaster Preparedness for EMP Attacks and Solar Storms by Dr. Arthur T. Bradley
- Army First Aid Manual
- One Second After by William Forstchen
- Surviving EMP by Rob Hanus
This week’s bonus is from Lisa Bedford’s book-in-progress, One Second After the Lights Go Out, a practical survival manual for surviving in the weeks and months following a catastrophic loss of the power grid. You can download it here.One Second After the Lights Go Out