Despite forecasts and all our modern technology, it can be impossible to know the damage a natural disaster will cause until it has already hit. This is especially true with power outages. A bad thunderstorm knocking power out for a few hours is no big deal, but what if there’s a power outage for much longer? What supplies and things will help you in an emergency or power outage? Here are things to help you prepare ahead of time.
Food or any items which need to be kept cool can be stored in a toilet’s water tank. Pack items fully and air-tight, as in a Ziploc bag or bottles.
You can stock up on MREs, Meals Ready to Eat. An MRE has a 10-year service life if the packaging isn’t compromised and it’s kept at the appropriate temperature. It’ll remain fresh for many years in a cool, completely dry cupboard. It will not last nearly as long in a marine’s backpack out in the ruthless desert. Check your supply every once in a while. If the packaging is bloated then it’s spoiled, so throw it away. You can get a new supply about every five years. (You can eat the MREs you’re rotating out once every five years!)
If you wish to keep points more natural, apples, bananas, oranges, as well as cherries can last up to a week. If you have a cool, completely dry place you can keep some carrots and potatoes. Think about things you’ll still wish to eat after emergency passes. Some easy examples of food to have stocked are:
- Trail mix and nuts
- Protein/breakfast bars
- Canned tuna, salmon, spam
- Canned soup
- Dried fruit
- Ensure/non-refrigerated individual cartons of organic milk
Water Purification System
It’s very good to have as much bottled water stored away as you can before an emergency or a power outage. You use a lot more water a day than you probably realize. Save as much water as possible and know whatever surplus water you have after the emergency passes is still money well spent.
If you went crazy and bought way too much water, you can be a helpful neighbor or donate the water since bottled water does have an expiration date. To be clear, the water never ever spoils, but the chemicals from the bottles can affect the water and make it taste awful.
For most emergencies, your water could be out for hours or a couple days. If there’s serious infrastructure damage in an area, safe water could be out for weeks. In this case, you’ll need a filtration system or water purification tablets. You should have a way to boil water.
To conserve water, it’s a good idea to stock up on hand sanitizer and baby wipes.
If you’re taking any type of prescription medication, see to it you have an appropriate supply at home ahead of severe weather. You might have an auto-prescription available, however severe weather doesn’t always follow your schedule.
If you’re running low on anything that is necessary or for a condition, you should contact your pharmacy or doctor and ask about sending a refill or does ahead of the usual date. You don’t want to be a day or two into a power outage, then realize vital medicine for blood pressure, asthma, diabetes or another condition is very low.
You likely have plenty of flashlights scattered all around your home. Yet, could you find them if you needed them? Do they have good batteries and are ready? One of the most vital things during an emergency is to continue to stay injury-free, which might not happen if you’re digging through a garage or closet at night.
If you want a battery-free option, and that’s a good idea, you can buy a crank up flashlight that works with a little elbow grease.
You might already have a big supply of batteries, which is fine, it’s a good idea to have a stockpile. You may be able to help neighbors if they need batteries in an emergency or an outage. Remember small, circle batteries if you have watches, hearing aids or other devices you need, which need these types of batteries.
One more tip, you can collect all the electronic devices around the house, take all those batteries, and have more to use for things you’ll need a lot more than the TV or the Xbox during a power outage.
How else will you light candles or cooking fuel? This seems obvious, but these days, there probably are some homes without matches or lighters. Maybe you don’t light candles normally, or have an electric stove. It’s a good idea to get some white-tip waterproof matches.
We have so many media and entertainment options when the power’s on. When the power’s out, a simple battery-run transistor radio can be important for safety, knowledge and entertainment. You can stay up to date on emergency news or information around your region. Try to find a radio with a NOAA band for weather news.
First Aid Kit
Here’s the Red Cross’ list for a complete first aid kit:
- 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
- 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes), 2 triangular bandages
- 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
- 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram), 5 antiseptic wipe packets
- 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
- A blanket (space blanket)
- 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
- 1 instant cold compress
- 2 pair of nonlatex gloves (size: large)
- 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
- 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide), 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches), 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
- Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
- First aid instruction booklet
Rather than piece this together yourself, you can buy it from the Red Cross.
When is it a Good Time to Call an Electrician? Your best bet? Hire an expert to do the job. South End Electric has the background and understanding to ensure a safe and smooth installation. We can provide everything you need when thinking about a whole home generator for your home and family. Our professionals provide whole-house generator sales and installation to meet your needs. See everything South End Electric can do for you. Call us direct at 704-368-4694.