One day without power can already drive us crazy, what more if it’s long-term? Always prepare for the worst. Check out the essentials you need for long-term electrical outages.
How to Survive a Long-Term Electrical Outage
As you prepare yourself and your home for all of the possible disastrous situations that can occur, you will probably start to feel pretty confident.
Your “go-bag” is packed, you’ve put together a collection of tools you feel comfortable with, and your canned goods stash is looking full. But have you considered exactly what can happen if SHTF?
The fact of the matter is that you are less likely to jump in your car and bug out to a remote farm than you are to be a prisoner in your own home.
Whether it is a natural disaster like a blizzard or hurricane, a global pandemic, or a cyber-terrorist attack, there will be no rush to leave your house. In fact, it’s possible you wouldn’t even be able to.
Being trapped in your home has its benefits, as space and supplies abound, but the comfort of your home can easily be compromised. Have you ever spent more than a few hours without power?
Is a Widespread Loss of Power a Real Threat?
Survivors of hurricanes and severe snowstorms know that the power can be wiped out for weeks before utility workers can even access the site. Keep in mind that hurricane season is notoriously hot.
Many areas that experience heavy snow also experience frigid temps for weeks on end. No power means no air conditioning and no heat.
If you live in parts of the country that don’t often experience hurricanes or snowstorms, don’t shrug off this threat just yet.
What about earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires, windstorms, and flooding? There is no region that is exempt from the possibility of widespread loss of power.
And as cyber-terrorism increases across the globe, the possibility of our power grids being taken out en masse also increases.
In 2016, a group of snipers actually targeted a California substation and successfully knocked out power to the surrounding areas. Similar attacks could be coordinated and executed throughout the country.
How to Properly Prepare for a Long-Term Power Outage
When the power goes out, we are all hopeful that it will be back on within a few minutes or hours, but we need to be prepared for the power to be out for several weeks.
There are five main categories of goods that you will need to have prepared.
Tap water will become undrinkable if the power is out; most city purification systems require electricity to function. You will want to have at least a 2-week supply of drinking water for your entire family on-hand.
That’s at least 1 gallon per day per person and pet. If you are preparing for an even longer outage, you will want to purchase water purification tablets or other filtration systems.
Without power, your fridge and freezer will quickly become off-limits and the food will spoil. Your supply of non-perishable foods will really shine during a power outage.
Even though your body can survive without food for weeks, you will become weak, irritable, and your thinking will cloud. Your entire family will function at its best if it is eating a variety of foods every few hours.
Make sure you have canned and dehydrated foods that include proteins, fruits, and vegetables.
3. Light Source
You will inevitably need a way to light your home, whether it is candles, flashlights, headlamps, or lanterns. Each has their merits, and you may want to keep some of each on hand.
Don’t forget lighter/matches and batteries!
4. First Aid
A comprehensive first aid kit is a must, especially if access to your home is blocked on top of the power being out.
In addition to bandages and ointments, your kit should include any prescription medications that your family relies on.
5. Seasonal Clothing
Your comfort during an electrical outage can vary significantly depending on the season; don’t let your clothing make things worse. Make sure you have appropriate gear easily accessible at all times, including footwear.
A generator is a worthwhile investment that will power your home when the city does not, but keep in mind that you will need fuel on hand. Fuel can quickly become a commodity, and your ability to use your generator long-term can be limited.
Prepare for the Worst-Case Scenario
For many people, electrical outages are a serious threat, and one that will severely impact their way and quality of life. Loss of Internet and TV are minor inconveniences compared to running out of potable water and food.
Always prepare for the worst-case scenario and for each member of your household.