I am an Urban Prepper who would much rather prepare to be comfortable for a power outage than survive the apocalypse but I'm ready for both.
If you are looking for things to have in a power outage then you have probably experienced some uncomfortable times like me. A few years ago my house lost power for an entire week almost causing a loss of months supply of milk for my baby and making my house reach uncomfortably high temperatures without the air conditioner. I was so underprepared that I'm not sure that I even had a flashlight, but that event sparked an obsession in me to be prepared for emergencies whether it was something as benign as a power outage or something more serious. I live in an area where we have above-ground power lines so every summer we are guaranteed to lose power once or twice at least so I keep these things to have in a power outage charged and in different rooms all around the house.
1. Alternative Power Radio
Radios are nearly non-existent outside of cars in the 21st century. Most of us have adopted technologies that allow us to stream music throughout our homes which is great for day to day but doesn't help when the electricity goes out. It's even safe to say that many households no longer keep batteries around to run a traditional radio if an emergency occurred.
It's not likely that there will ever be a reason to have an emergency radio that you'll need for more than a few hours, but the Eagle Scout in me likes to always be prepared, which is why my emergency radio can be charged through traditional means as well as solar and kinetic charging. It also pulls double duty as a flashlight and a power source to charge small devices like phones.
2. Power Bank
A radio that can power a phone for a bit is cool, but it also takes power away from its intended use. Having a stand-alone power bank that is specifically for charging devices is great for emergency uses, but it's also amazing for travel. I got mine as a gift, and I absolutely love it - sometimes I use it when I want to charge my phone, but I'm not close to an outlet in my house.
Powerbanks come in all shapes and sizes, from miniature devices that will give a phone an emergency charge to heavy-duty banks used to power larger electronics like laptops. Mine is a bigger device that has no problem speedily charging two phones at once. It isn't strong enough to power a laptop, but it will tackle a tablet with no problem. Mine is also solar chargeable, which makes it great for emergencies.
3. Solar Powered Lightbulb
When it comes to a power outage, this has to be my favorite device, and I fully endorse it. I keep mine in a window sill at all times to make sure that it is charged in case of an emergency. Not only does it not need batteries, but it is also portable and hangable, making it perfect for bringing from room to room or to take with you while you're camping.
I had a situation where some faulty wiring caused the light to stop working in my bedroom, so I hung this up over my ceiling fan while waiting for the problem to be fixed. Not only did it give off more light than my regular light, but it lasted for three days before the light started to dim and need a recharge. The best part is that they are relatively inexpensive, so they are a great start to your power outage kit.
4. Rechargeable Lightbulb
These battery-backed lightbulbs have become more economically viable in the past few years; I think when I bought my first one, it was close to $50, and now you can get them for around $15. They work just like a regular bulb that you use anywhere in your house; the difference is that they have a backup battery that kicks the light on automatically when the power is cut off.
Imagine being the envy of your neighborhood when you still have lights in every room of your house, thanks to your preparedness. These backup bulbs know whether there is a current to the bulb or not and will only turn on in the case of complete electrical cut-off, so you don't have to worry about them turning on every time you turn the lights off. Some older models are too bulky to fit into certain lamps and fixtures, but that problem has slowly dissipated as the technology improves.
5. Something to Do
If you are in for a long-haul power outage, your devices will only get you so far. Make sure you have plenty of non-electronic stuff to do once you are safe and set up. Good old-fashioned books, board games, and instruments are just a few ideas of ways you can pass the time when mother nature cuts off your electricity.
6. Camping Stove
These things can be a lifesaver, literally. The chances are that you will never be in a position where you have to cook without power long-term, but it is still great to have this around in emergencies. It is again a relatively inexpensive piece of disaster preparation equipment that you will never be sad you have around.
Several models of camp stoves are out there, but the one that is the best for emergency purposes is the pocket-rocket model that screws onto a fuel source. You have to buy the pieces separately, but they last a long time. Once the top is screwed on, you can light the fuel source and adjust the flame; it is perfect for heating a single pan or pot.
7. The Dream
You can't have everything in your arsenal, especially when you are just starting, and this is a dream item I haven't gotten around to yet. This Duracell generator is basically just a big battery, but it is strong enough to power household essentials. At $600, this isn't the most budget-friendly device, but it is less expensive than many other electric generators that can reach upwards of $5,000. The more expensive ones can power a whole house sometimes, but this one is perfect in an emergency because it is not so big that you can't store it when you don't need it.
This generator is strong enough to power your fridge for four hours which comes in clutch when there are longer power outages. The option to recharge it using solar panels means that you can run larger appliances off and on for safe food storage even if the power outage lasts for weeks. If your fridge isn't a concern, this generator could probably power a TV, fans, chargers, and lamps all at the same time, making for a fairly comfortable way to ride out a power outage.
A power outage isn't a big deal until it is. Maybe it will only last a few minutes, or maybe you'll be in the dark for days with no way to charge the devices that we have come to rely on. It never hurts to be prepared because, as the old saying goes, it's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
© 2021 Arthur Thares
BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on May 17, 2021:
I like the idea of a battery backup lightbulb.
I've never heard if it.
I used to have lights that plugged into the outket that would turn on when power was lost. I loved them.
Instead of burning candles I have a couple of battery powered lanterns that put out alot of light.
Then I use those battery powered multicolor candles to put in places like the bathroom.
You did a great job writing this one & it's something we need to be prepared for.