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When you see local weather reports that a storm is about to hit, your best bet is to prepare for the worst. You don’t want to be caught off guard when your lights go out, your water stops running, and your Wi-Fi turns off. Emergency situations could last a few minutes or a few days, so you want to be ready for any possible outcome if your power shuts down. So many things can come in handy in these types of situations, and we put together a list of those items so that you can have them at the ready. Here are 10 essential power outage supplies every homeowner should have just in case.
1. First Aid Kit
Here’s what the Red Cross suggests you should keep in your first aid kit: 2 absorbent compress dressings, 25 adhesive bandages, 1 adhesive cloth tape, 5 antibiotic ointment packets, 5 antiseptic wipe packets, 2 packets of aspirin, 1 blanket, 1 breathing barrier, 1 instant cold compress, 2 pair of nonlatex gloves, 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets, 1 roller bandage, 10 sterile gauze pads, oral thermometer, scissors, tweezers, and a first aid instruction booklet. This is the minimum standard. If you have a big family, having more supplies is a good idea.
2. Flashlights + Candles
The last thing you want to happen when the power goes out is an injury in the dark or not being able to find everything you need easily. This is when a flashlight will be crucial. Make sure you store flashlights and batteries for them in a safe spot that is easily accessible in the dark. Candles are another good light source, but make sure you have matches and lighters on hand and never leave a candle burning overnight.
In an emergency situation, you’ll use a lot more water than you would think. It tends to run out fast, so make sure you have plenty on hand among your power outage supplies. Since you don’t know how long it will take for the water to turn back on, try to conserve as much as you can. Don’t worry about buying too much; you’ll always need water.
4. Non-Perishable Foods
It goes without saying that you’re going to need food in your kit of power outage supplies. And if your oven, microwave, and fridge run on electricity, you’re going to need non-perishable items. Some examples are crackers, trail mix, protein and breakfast bars, canned tuna or salmon, canned soup, and dried fruit. Having these things on hand will likely save a trip to the grocery store.
It’s important to have an adequate supply of any of your prescription medications in case you lose power for longer than anticipated. If you can’t make it out of your home due to extreme weather conditions, you want to ensure you have all of your proper medications — and enough to last until the storm passes.
Your water is likely shut off if your power is out, which means showering will be out of the question. The key to keep you and your family clean(ish) is having hygiene products in the house among your power outage supplies, like hand sanitizer, deodorant, and baby wipes. If you’re stuck inside for days at a time without any water, you’ll thank us.
7. Batteries & Battery-Powered Chargers
Always have extra batteries and battery-powered emergency chargers among your power outage supplies just in case you lose power and need to rely on your battery-operated devices. It’s a smart idea to always have a good supply of batteries, especially for things like your emergency charger, watch, fire alarm, and your hearing aid.
When all else fails, you know that you can rely on a battery-operated radio. Not only does it keep you entertained and give you something to do when the power is out, but it can also keep you updated on emergency-related progress thanks to stations like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
9. Sleeping Bags and Blankets
Sleeping bags and blankets will come in handy if your power were to suddenly turn off, especially when it’s cold outside. Not only can they can help keep you warm when the heat in your house isn’t working, they can also make for a fun indoor family campout to help take your mind off of things.
10. Books and Board Games
One of the worst things about a long power outage is how boring it can become. We are not used to being cut off from technology and screens for a long period of time. But you’ll want the time to pass by quickly, and the best way to do that is to have fun. Ensure you have books and board games among your power outage supplies so that you can have a good time with your loved ones while being unplugged.