Had our first unexplained power outage yesterday. It started at 6am and miraculously kicked back on at exactly 11 am. No useful information from the energy company via phone or app and no service trucks to be seen. In any case, it wasn’t a fun feeling. It did however inspire this post because preparedness is always crucial and critical.
Many industry analysts are saying people should expect to see more black and brown outs this summer season. There’s always the usual rounds of those due to regular usage issues but this year is appearing to be more problematic due to the various supply chain issues. Most energy companies simply don’t have the stockpile of replacement and spare parts as they’ve had and getting new stock is uncertain. So remember, it ain’t paranoia when its very plausible.
Below are some tips and tricks that we already had in place that made our short run far less frustrating. These of course are very short term fixes. List one are the easy peasy fixes we pretty much keep in place. The second list is far more involved and meant for the long term meaning most of those don’t happen overnight or magically appear by making a couple quick clicks on Amazon. We ourselves are buckling down to make most of them happen for us. And while it an seem to be a really daunting task and challenge, never forget that small steps lead to long impressive journeys and end results.
To note, the links provided take you to Amazon via our associate links so if you make a purchase, we get an appreciated kick back. We strongly suggest you shop around for the best prices for your budget but in full disclosure I’ve yet to find a better starting point than Amazon to begin the research.
- Portable power packs for cellphones and other chargeable devices. – Started doing this a few years ago after an ice storm hit us. I had a bunch of them laying around as I would keep a few in my camera bag for those just in case moments when I was on a shoot and away from a power source.
- Keep a jug of water in the freezer (or two) – Another trick picked up from the ice storm incident. There’s a lot of good reasons to do this one. Keeping one or two frozen jugs of water in your freezer will at first make it easier on your freezer in general. Like an old fashioned “ice box” the block of ice encased in plastic helps lower the load on your freezer. Also, in the event your pipes freeze up, its easy enough to allow them to thaw for fresh drinking water. Another great service this practical form of recycling provides is for those times when you may be gone for the day and return to find it not completely frozen thus indicating that a power outage occurred while you were away. I’ll admit that one’s a bit over anal retentive but a good tip nonetheless.
- Manual kitchen tools – You never know how much you value your electric can opener until you can’t use it. Same can be said for many other tools found in the kitchen. Make an inventory of what you use on a regular basis and then find its manual alternative. Also, be sure to be mindful of plastic versus metal. Metal is certainly your preferred type in a power outage situation. Why? Because it doesn’t melt over an open fire if it happens to come down to that.
- Flashlights – While most phones have a light of some sort it would be best to not tie up that tool when artificial light sources are affordable and plentiful. And of course, don’t forget the batteries.
- Portable Radio – No longer the staple of everyone’s homes, it’s easy to forget how incredibly important this inexpensive form of communication is. While a traditional AM/FM receiver is good, to have one that also picks up the weather band is crucial. Let’s be real, the top 40 is far less important than the latest weather and emergency reports.
- Disposable cups, utensils and containers. Washing dishes is not something anyone is a fan of that I’m aware of. Especially in an emergency situation.
- START STUDYING – Knowledge is power and readily available. The internet is chock full of sites to teach you so much and you should totally spend some of your surfing time checking them out. 15 minutes ar day could really save your life. Support the content creators you find if they have a hard copy book available.
Those are just a small sliver of things that you can do right now with little to no cost and can help in the event of the “when” and not the “if” comes to your neighborhood. Full disclosure: We are still needing to get stocked up with the following list but we are working towards it.
- Solar Powered Back ups
- Storable Food
- Gardening – Backyard and Window Sill
- Water Purification
- Chickens. They come before the egg and so long as they’re laying you’re in good shape and in an extreme situation, they can be turned into chicken nuggets.
- Learn to HUNT and FISH -I pray I don’t have to explain this.
- Satellite Phones – This one is an absolute “end of the world” type of suggestion. The possibility of downed cell towers is plausible in the event of wide spread, major power outages. I personally do not own one and most likely won’t invest in one any time soon. Still, not a bad idea.
So there you have it. A starting point for preparedness in the coming “When” and not “if” power outage scenarios come.
PLEASE feel free to share any types and links you have in the comments.
Now, Go Play! (and sleep with one eye open 😉 )