Power Outages: Expect the Unexpected
It may be impossible to anticipate when extreme weather will strike, so why not expect it? Preparing for the unexpected will better allow you to survive and recover from threatening events. There are four tenets to prepping: food, shelter, water, and fire/power. For this installment, we’ll focus on fire/power. Fire/power, or energy, produces warmth. In winter, this need rises to the top of survival planning. Far more people die during winter than at any other time of year. Storms can knock out power and leave people freezing. Which is why it’s important to know if your power source is in danger and to have a plan. Indeed, you should stay informed; have a survival plan; and keep an emergency kit on hand to stay safe during any disaster.
Your emergency kit should include enough food and water to last 72 hours; blankets; basic tools, such as can openers, knives, and flashlights; first aid and hygiene items; and a power source.
Power outages can run the gamut from a few hours in the dark to days stuck inside due to a particularly intense snow or ice storm.
Non-perishable food items are the best items to store in case of a winter weather emergency. Keep three day’s worth of canned food, dry fruit and nut mixes, and other items that require little preparation in your pantry and aim to have one gallon of water per person per day on hand as well.
Proactively shop for these items far ahead of any potential storm. Don’t wait for weather reports to start advising you to stock up—grocery store shelves are often depleted faster than you’d think. Specifically, prepared survival food is the best choice. But non-non-perishable food can do the trick. Remember that if the power goes out, consume perishable foods (such as milk from your refrigerators) first, before non-perishable foods.
Staying nourished and staying warm and comfortable keep you mentally and physically well.
When the grid goes down and it’s 10 degrees outside, staying warm is a major concern. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, store up extra wood in case your heat is knocked out and have your chimney cleaned and inspected every year. Put extra blankets, sleeping bags, and warm coats in a place that is easily accessible and make sure your whole family knows where to find them.
You should also have a safe source of easy-to-use backup power. In the case of any emergency outage, backup power sources will help keep your family connected, comfortable, and safe. For example, they can be used for space heaters, electric blankets, hot plates, or stoves. However, during the winter, gas-powered generators, heaters, and lanterns can also increase your risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Instead, go for battery- or solar-powered generators.
The upfront cost of a solar- or battery-powered generator actually creates savings over time. The average US household spends more than $2,000 per year on utilities. A Goal Zero Yeti generator can pay for itself many times over — and serve as “grid insurance.” Of course, there is more than money to be saved. There are lives, too.
Beyond heating our homes, power can keep us connected to important news reports and emergency alerts; it can keep the lights on; it can keep us in touch with loved ones.
To safely keep devices charged, lights on, and appliances running through a storm, be ready with the right gas-free power stations and kits to meet your power needs. Check out our emergency preparedness products, such as the Yeti line of portable power stations, as well as other power solutions [here] (https://www.goalzero.com/product-features/emergency-prep/).