Functional Friday: Preparedness Project - Power Outage

Each Friday, Everyday Providence authors will be providing quick and easy ideas to get you ready to face a potential emergency.  From a sudden thunderstorm to that last-minute dinner guest, we strive to handle each situation with confidence and finesse.  We hope to challenge you each week to take a small step in preparing for the best outcome in these unexpected situations.

This week, I've been thinking about the weather.  One of our primary concerns anywhere in the nation is a storm-related power outage.  Although generally no more than a few minutes, an outage occasionally lasts hours or days.  Rest assured that with some planning and preparedness you may be able to coast through this emergency, and maybe have a little fun.  First decide where you can keep some emergency supplies; the location needs to be convenient but out of the way and secure, like a closet.

Here's a starter list of items you might need right away during a power outage:

  • Flashlights and batteries- Candles and matches are an inexpensive and long lasting solution, but they are also a potential fire hazard.  You should have some, but save those for more desperate situations.  Store your batteries with, but not in, your emergency flashlights.
  • Radio and batteries - A NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) radio will give you information about the storm itself; the regular stations will give you news and other information, as well as, keep you occupied.  Many are crank or solar powered, and some can charge a cell phone.
  • Shelter - If it's very cold, rainy, or windy, stay inside.  Close doors and windows, and keep them closed, especially to preserve heat.  Stay warm with a blanket or sweatshirt. 
  • Ready to Eat/Shelf-stable food - These are items that don't require cooking and do not need refrigerated.  Don't open your fridge or freezer!  Have some items in your pantry that you can open and eat.  Plan some items that you enjoy.  In our house we stock wheat crackers and cheese in a can, cheese flavored crackers, beef jerky, tuna pouches, and fruit and pudding cups.
  • Bottled water - You need a minimum of one case of bottled water (3 gallons) on hand for each person in the house.  If your area water supply is affect by a power outage, flooding, or other damage, you'll need water to drink and for cleaning and hygiene.
  • First Aid Kit - You don't want to be bumbling around in the dark looking for a bandage.  Make sure you know where your kit is, or buy one just for emergencies.
  • Special Items - medications, extra glasses, baby needs, extra car keys, toys and games
We will have lots of additional information about preparing for this and other emergencies, so keep reading.  Remember!  It's never too late or too early to start preparing for the best.

Week-end Preparedness Project
Pick one (or pick them all)

1 bee

2 bees (depending on what you have already)

 ☐  Check your emergency flashlight and radio with batteries
 ☐  Throw a blanket or sweatshirt in a designated emergency spot
 ☐  Collect some ready-to-eat/shelf-stable food
 ☐  Check for one case of bottled water for every member in your home
 ☐  Make (or buy) an emergency first aid kit
 ☐  Collect special items you will need at hand in a power outage
 ☐  Store items in a convenient but out of the way location


    1. I dig out the Halloween decor the other day and found a flashlight with plastic caps that go over the end to make halloween silhouettes on the wall. I decided that we needed back-up batteries for this one as well.

    2. I dug. Apparently, spell-check can't do everything for me.