The lights are out, and you wonder if you’ve tripped a breaker. A quick trip to the electrical panel gives no solutions, and a look out the window reveals that the whole neighborhood is experiencing a similar problem. Great. The power is out, but it will probably come on soon, right?
Most power outages do not last that long, but that does not mean you should not be prepared. A few hours is easy to weather with flashlights or maybe a few candles, but even lasting overnight can be difficult especially in cold weather. In case of longer-than-expected outages, a person should be prepared with a few essentials to make sure they can survive in relative comfort during the outage.
10 Gadgets to Get You by When the Power Goes Out
Flashlights seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many people think they have flashlights but cannot locate them. It’s probably no surprise that when the flashlight is located, the batteries are missing or dead. Then, the person remembers they stole the batteries for a child’s toy or other non-emergent item. It’s normal. Emergencies just don’t happen that often.
That is why there should be two sets of flashlights, or at least two flashlights, in the house. One is for everyday use (looking at the barbecue or under the couch), and the other is untouchable. It must only be used for emergencies. The batteries are kept outside of this flashlight, so they don’t corrode, and they are sure to be available during an emergency.
There is also the option of kinetic flashlights that require movement to charge them, and these are excellent for extreme emergencies. However, the ease of using a battery-operated light is too great to be replaced by these items, especially since LEDs extend their life by so much.
Don’t use candles and matches unless you have to, but it is good to have the basics available in an emergency when technological advances can let you down.
Especially if you have children, light sticks can be a cheap godsend. They vary in hours that they will last when activated, but they are sure to brighten up the darkness for children who need a little help in the darkness.
They aren’t only for kids. Light sticks can brighten a room for everyone. They are an easy low-light solution for brightening hallways and open areas without needing any supervision or presenting any fire hazard.
When it is cold, and the power goes out, it is very important to have blankets available. This is not just the typical blankets you keep on your bed. Keep some extra wool blankets or quality heavy blankets in case it gets extra cold. Some lightweight but warm travel blankets may also be helpful in a survival situation.
If the power isn’t going out for long, a power bank can be all you need to keep your personal devices charged. Many people keep these in their purses or briefcases anyway in case of travel delays, but they can also serve a purpose in an emergency.
Hand Crank Radio:
When power outages turn worrisome, you may not have access to mobile devices, or the internet may not work. That means you will be cut off from the outside world. A hand-crank radio can reconnect you with the outside world, and you’ll be able to get emergency messages that at least let you know when the power will be expected to turn back on.
Portable generators are a luxury when camping, and they can bring all the conveniences of home life to your camp site. They can also be instrumental during a crisis, as they can give that same power to household object. They probably won’t power your appliances though, so they are limited.
Propane Heater with Low-Oxygen Shut Off:
Propane heaters are not safe for indoor use, but they can be if they are made for indoor use and have a shut-off safety feature that detects low oxygen. These should be purchased before an outage or else they will run out at the store as soon as a storm hits.
A wind-proof lighter can be a fire and a light source. They are fire hazards, but they are reasonably controllable, and they are very portable. Wind-proof lighters are excellent but even standard lighters can be very convenient.
Home Standby Generator:
The ultimate in gadgetry to protect a home during a power outage is a home standby generator. This is a generator that is hooked up to the home and can continue running your house in a semi-regular fashion during an outage. They can be fueled by liquid gas, or they can be hooked up to gas lines. If you can do it, getting a home standby generator in many ways eliminates the need for other backup devices.
Preparation is the number one way to survive a power outage with minimal ill effects. These gadgets can help you to get the job done.