What You Need When The Power Goes Out

One thing I insist on having in my home is a gas stove and a wood burning stove, if possible.  Because when the electricity fails, how are you going to cook?  You can’t live on protein bars forever.

My neighborhood is big on emergency preparedness and they regularly host seminars or training sessions for various situations that could affect our community.  No matter where you live though, having the power go out happens to everybody and it happens most often.

I’ve discovered a blog by a lady that has every emergency preparedness article you can think of and I pull ideas from her continually.  Here’s a complete list of what you need and/or what you should do when the power goes out.  Most of these suggestions stem from the worry about not having enough heat.  If the cold isn’t a problem, be sure to pack extra water to prevent dehydration.

Have a plan, make kits, review it with your kids, then you’ll have a greater peace of mind.

  1. keep windows and doors closed as much as possible
  2. close interior doors to rooms you won’t be using
  3. have a hand crank/solar powered radio
  4. multiple hand crank/solar powered flashlights
  5. glow sticks
  6. candles (only for outages, but never a natural disaster because of gas leaks)
  7. battery-powered clock
  8. an emergency kitchen, many possibilities here
  9. eat and drink hot foods
  10. raid your 72 hour kits
  11. dress in loose fitting layers
  12. generator fuel
  13. firewood
  14. batteries
  15. manual can opener
  16. detergents
  17. matches or lighters
  18. blankets and sleeping bags:  you’ll want to contain any body heat as much as possible, sleep in the same room, under a table draped with additional blankets
  19. tents:  can be pitched in your sleeping area to contain additional heat
  20. water supply
  21. DON’T drink alcohol or eat salty foods
  22. have plenty of canned goods
  23. close off unnecessary pathways with hanging blankets
  24. stuff rags and towels around door/window seams
  25. when the sun goes down, cover the windows with blankets or sheeting
  26. have some games and books available

What else do you think you’ll need when the power goes out?


Spring cleaning: 13 things to replace right now

We’ve all reached that time of year when the weather is iffy and if you’re not in college, there’s nothing much to do.  So I think somebody down the line got just bored enough to clean out their house and called it – the dreaded – Spring Cleaning.  But at the same time when the snow is melting and you can finally see the grass desperately trying to come back to life, you can also see the muck and the grime and the dirt that the snow plow heaved into your yard and that the wind and rain are now spreading everywhere.  Yes…I want to go out and clean it all up too. Or at least pay the nice neighbor boy to do it.  But like any wife, the inside of the home comes first (because the weather’s iffy, remember?)

So here we have a list I found of what to replace:

Spring cleaning: 13 things to replace right now – MSN Living.

 Toothbrush – This one’s easy for me because I have a free stocked up supply of toothbrushes already.  If you visit your dentist twice a year (like you should) they give you that cute little goodie bag on your way out with a new toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, and maybe a sticker if you’re under age 12.  I have never bought a toothbrush simply because my dentist is neat that way.  Either way, if your bristles are frayed, toss it too.

Batteries in Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors – This one I don’t care too much about either because the batteries last a whole lot longer than one year.  But it is quite annoying when they start to beep in the middle of the night and it takes you twenty minutes to figure out which one is beeping so you can angrily rip it off the ceiling and deal with it in the morning.

Eye Makeup – Ladies, I admit I hold onto makeup longer than I probably should; it’s expensive for cryin’ out loud!  But if you’re digging through your makeup bag and you find that cheap little set that Aunt Fannie gave you for Christmas eons ago, there’s probably a reason it’s lasted this long:  it’s cheap and isn’t good for your face.  If it’s cracked, dried out, or more than 6 months old, just toss it.

Foundation – Now this is more for liquid foundation.  If you wear powder (like I do) refer to the eye makeup just above.  But if you can see the layers of separation, don’t just shake it up and reuse it.

Sneakers – Now I quite disagree with replacing tennis shoes every year, especially if you have many pairs of shoes and they don’t get worn every single day in and day out.  I fully support the old adage:  use it up, wear it out, make do, do without…..especially for clothes, shoes too.  But obviously, if the sole has holes or the laces are so worn they can’t hold together, get a new pair.

Kitchen Sponge – When I hear these two words I immediately think, “Eww, gross!”  I don’t advocate sponges at all because they literally spread bacteria across every surface you’re cleaning.  Toss it now!  Use a fabric washcloth that you launder at the very least once a week.  And before you use it, soak it in water, lay it flat in the microwave, and nuke for a minute or so; that will ensure you’re not growing your own personalized culture in your sink.

Baking Soda in Fridge/Freezer – sure, easy.

Pillows – if your wallet can take it.

Water Filter – Now this one….if you haven’t already followed the filter replacement specs for your water purifier (it’s usually every 3 months like mine), please get a new one.  Think about the air filter in your home’s circulation system, or the oil filter in your car–if you don’t change those often enough what happens?  Now what happens to the water you drink if you don’t replace it’s filter?  Hmmm….

Sunscreen – I never thought about replacing my sunscreen, I usually just use it until it’s gone.  But like your makeup, it can separate and not work as effectively over than length of time.  Probably best to replace it.

Cedar in your Closets – What?!  I almost laughed out loud when I heard this one.  I’ve only been in one home, ever, that had cedar lined closets and it was built in the 60’s.  Now I agree, it’s nice to keep things fresh–I have a cedar hope chest.  But home reconstruction?  Not sure if I agree.

Toilet Brush – Makes sense; who wants that disgusting thing sitting there even though we have to have it?  But at the same time, who wants to invest in something that will always be mucky anyway?  You’re choice, I guess.

Canned Goods and Bottled Water in Your Emergency Kit – I completely support this notion.  In fact, if you have more food storage as well, you should be constantly revolving it’s inventory, using up the old and continually replacing it with the new.  You’ll get much more out of your money and effort if you gradually rotate through things.  If you prefer to just purchase things yearly in a lump sum, go ahead.  But if you’re going to have it sit there and not get used, you’ll have to eventually replace it and it will be money down the drain in the long run.