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Power Outages: Preparations for the Calm Before the Storm

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The last time there was a power outage, you were caught unprepared. It wasn’t the worst thing in the world, but it was annoying. You did manage to find a lighter, and there were a few candles laying around. This time around, you want to be prepared. It’s only a matter of time before the next power failure occurs. Besides, emergencies aren’t things you can predict other than, at some point, there will be one. Here’s what to stock up on during the calm before the storm.

Write a Plan of Action

The first thing to do is write down all of the emergencies you think are most likely where you live. If you live out in the country in the mid-west, for example, you’re likely to experience ice and snowstorms. If you live in a big city, that might not be as much of a concern, even if it happens every year.

The difference is the availability of services when the emergency strikes. If you’re out in the boonies, you’re on your own. If you live in a big city, you’ll have bulldozing services to help you out. Knowing what you’re potentially up against will help you make a better plan for supplies.

Buy or Prepare Non-Perishable Foods

You’ll need non-perishable foods during an emergency. You don’t know how long the emergency will last, so keep at least a week’s worth of food on hand for everyone in your house. If you want to be conservative, keep a month’s worth of food on hand. Don’t forget about water either. Water is more important than food.

Download Emergency Videos

An emergency isn’t the time to try to remember first-aide procedures or tactical tricks that could keep you alive. If you have to build a fire out in your back yard, you’ll want instructions on how to do that. But, the electricity will likely be out, so you’ll need some sort of instructions handy. You could print them out and store them in a safe place, but a better idea might be to download videos of other people doing them.

It’s not hard to convert YouTube videos and save them on an “emergency tablet.” Keep that tablet or mobile device charged and in an easy-to-find location at all times. Review all videos you download and then actually practice them a few times to make sure that the technique or strategy actually works. That way, you’ll have a guide when a real emergency hits. Make sure you respect IP with video downloads.

Have Backup Heating and Cooking Options

You won’t have services like gas, or heat, so you’ll need backup services. A camping stove is ideal. Also, don’t forget to have a way to prepare water. Emergency supplies like the Life Straw, or water bottles capable of filtering non-potable water, are good to have on hand.

Invest In Emergency Lights

Buy candles. Have them handy for use at a moment’s notice. Also, invest in emergency lights that will light immediately when the power goes out.

Have a Battery-Less Radio and Flashlight

Have a backup for your backup just in case. A Faraday flashlight is the best option. Also, get yourself a crank radio that doesn’t rely on batteries.

Ivonne Strauss has lived in stormy areas all her life. She blogs about ways to stay safe and prepared for the possibilities of storms and other natural disasters.

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