Survival Basics: Prepping for An Unexpected Power Outage

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You don’t have to be a prepper to realize that power outages can happen anytime, to anybody, and anywhere.  Some outages are planned, some are the result of Mother Nature kicking up a storm, and some are the unexpected result of a natural or man-made crisis.  More recently, the threat of a cyber-attack or terrorist invoked EMP has been added to the mix, and most assuredly, if that were to happen, we will be without power for an extended time.

The bottom line is this: the delicacy of our grid is such that nearly any disruption can cause a sudden and unexpected power outage.

Prepping for An Unexpected Power Outage | Backdoor Survival

Whatever the reason, there are various measures you should take now to ensure both your comfort and safety when the power blows unexpectedly.  The good news is that prepper or not, most people already have the most basic power outage survival items on hand:

Flashlights
Batteries
Candles
Matches
Blankets

Unless you have been living in a cocoon in Siberia, chances are that these items have already been set aside in your household so that they will be readily available when the lights blink off.  For a 3- or 4-hour outage, you will be just fine with these basic supplies.

But what if the power is lost for a longer period of time? How will you cook your food?  How will you keep warm?  How will you ensure your safety and security in the dark?  These are just a few of the issues you will face if there is an unexpected and extended power outage.  Add infants, the elderly, or the infirm to the mix unless you have planned ahead, you will have a big problem and potential catastrophe on your hands.

Preparing in Advance For a Power Outage

Today I get back to survival basics and offer suggestions and ideas for prepping for an unexpected power outage. My goal is to get those wheels in your brain cranking, and to provide you with a list of suggestions that can be implemented in stages as your needs and budget allow.

1.  Store foods that require very little in terms of warming or cooking.  These foods should be items that your family normally eats.  Suggestions?  Canned meats, peanut butter, crackers, canned fruits and veggies granola bars, and cold cereals.  If you are a coffee drinker, include some instant coffee as well.

The list is endless but let me caution you: if you gag at the thought of cold ravioli out of a can now, you will also gag if you have to eat it in an emergency, power outage situation.  Don’t be silly.  Store foods that are meant to be eaten cold or at room temperature, or, if not, try sampling them in advance just to be sure.  This may sound crazy but cold baked beans out of a can are actually quite good! Don’t forget the manual can opener and some disposable plates and utensils.

2.  Acquire one or more alternate cooking sources.  You can cook outdoors using a fire pit, charcoal or propane barbeque, camp stove or even a DIY rocket stove.

We are lucky in that we have a propane cooktop in our kitchen that can easily be lit with a match.  In addition, we have a Volcano Collapsible Cook Stove, an EcoZoom rocket stove, and three Solo Stoves. These devices provide options when it comes to using fuel not the least of which is biomass.  We also have a  cast iron fire pit that is set up for cooking, a couple of butane stoves, a gas grill, and a Sun Oven.

3. Store fuel for your chosen cooking method.  Except for the Sun Oven, all require a source of fuel so don’t overlook having a supply on hand lest you take to chopping up the furniture to fuel the campfire.

This could be wood for the fire pit, propane cylinders for the gas grill, or 100 pounds of charcoal.  It could also be a large bucket of pine cones or twigs to use as biomass in your rocket stove.  The point is to store fuel because without question, you are going to need it.  One more point:  educate yourself on the proper storage of fuel.  All of the food in the world will not help you one bit if you blow yourself to bits with fuel that has not be stored and used in a safe manner.

If propane is your fuel of choice, you will find lots of information and useful tips in the series Propane For Preppers, The Five Part Series.

Small Sampling of Portable Emergency Lighting | Backdoor Survival

4.  Have at least one good lantern plus lots of flashlights.  Choose a lantern that will cast a wide beam and one that is large enough to fill a room with brightness when the sun goes down.  We have both a Coleman propane lantern and a Coleman battery powered lantern.  Coleman lanterns are a timeless choice because they last forever and replacement parts, even for older models, are readily available.

Solar lanterns are also useful and these days, many can be charged when the skies are overcast?  My favorite is the Sun Bell which can also be used to charge a cell phone, Kindle, or other electronic device.

Then there are flashlights.  Although they are pocket-sized, you can’t beat the price on these Mini-Crees (usually less than $4), the Coast HP1, and the Block-Lite.  All right, I do have a flashlight fetish and just can’t help myself!

5.  Stock supplies for bundling up. Blankets are good, but a nice toasty sleeping bag or down comforter is better.  A heavy jacket and socks are good, too.

Plan to add layers for staying warm in a grid down scenario.  Long johns, covered by clothing and topped with a jacket will serve you well. Don’t forget hats, scarves, and fingerless gloves, so that you can stay warm and still function.

6.  Invest in a generator.  We invested in a 10 kw whole house generator that will automatically power our home during the frequent outages on our island.  Think it won’t happen to you?  A number of years back, the city of Seattle was dark for almost a week.  It happens. After Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast a few years ago, the power was down for weeks in parts of New York City.

I am not suggesting that you invest thousands of dollars in a whole house generator,  For one, they take a lot of fuel. Also, installation by a qualified electrician is probably going to cost as much as the generator itself.

If you do go this route, make sure you test the installation!  I can not stress this too much.  After having my own generator installed, I was caught with no refrigerator power during a short term outage because I stupidly trusted the electrician to get things right.  Wrong.  The wiring from the refrigerator to the master panel was not connected and we lost of lot of food,  Whatever you do, test then test again every few months or so.

A portable generator can be purchased for as little as $500 or $600.  If I were to do this again, I would skip the big, expensive unit and go with a portable unit.  Rather than rely on a generator for power, I would much rather have the skill and determination to live without power for the duration of the outage.

There is one more caveat with generators. They can alert criminals that you are well prepared. Some generators are quite noisy, and your home will be a beacon in the darkness if it’s the only one lit up during an emergency. Depending where you live, caution is advised.

The last point that I want to make again lest you forget:  be sure that you store plenty of fuel for your generator.

7.  Consider solar power. If you have the proper sun exposure, the budget, and the space, solar power can be a backup to your local power grid.  Many local utilities, states, and even the federal government offer financial incentives and policies that promote renewable energy.  It is worth checking into.

8.  Fill empty milk or juice jugs with water then store them in your freezer so that all of the spare nooks and crannies are filled.  This will serve a variety of purposes,  The freezer will operate more efficiently because it is full, plus, if there is an outage, the frozen jugs of ice will hold the contents cool for a longer period of time.  You can even move some of the jugs of ice to your refrigerator to keep things cold for a short term following an unexpected outage.

Note:  the water stored in this manner, when thawed, can be used for cleaning or flushing but not for drinking unless it is purified or filtered.

For more help understanding how to keep food safe during a power outage, read 11 Tips for Keeping Food Safe When the Power Goes Out.

Other Useful Stuff

We have covered basic power needs but what are some of the other essentials that you will want to have on hand during a power outage?

The following items will help you to sail through a power outage:

Battery operated or hand crank radio.  Remember, without power, there may be no way to use your computers. Your DSL or cable service is likely to be kaput at well.  This could be the only way you are able to get news.

Solar battery charger.  Very handy for charging batteries to power flashlights and other battery powered devices.

Chemical light sticks. They more versatile than you might expect. (Here are 10 reasons you need them in your emergency kit.)

Amusements.  Books, games, and playing cards.  My favorite?  A couple of decks of Canasta cards.

The Spirit of Adventure.  Okay, I had to throw that in.  Let’s face it, a positive attitude plus your emergency preps will help you soldier through an extended power outage.

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The Final Word

I hope these ideas will start you on the road to thinking about an extended power outage and how you can prepare now to keep yourself warm, illuminated, comfortable if and when it happens.  I also encourage you practice living without power for a day or even a weekend.  That is the only way you will learn what you need to do to become better prepared.

I also suggest that you pop up a big pot of popcorn and get yourself a copy of the movie “The Trigger Effect ”.  I saw this film when it first came out and still find it chilling.  Here a synopsis:

“Do yourself a favor and buy some canned goods, a flashlight, and a radio before you watch this film.

Unfairly dismissed by the critics and missed by the public, this pre-Y2K suspense film is a chilling, sobering experience that will turn any practical person into a paranoid, apocalyptic loon. When the power goes out in the big city and society starts to break down, husband and wife Matthew and Annie find out that not even suburbia is safe.”

If you still have have doubts, read One Second After or Cyberstorm.  You will never think of a power outage in the same way again.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Gaye

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Bargain Bin: Getting the goods you need to in place to be comfortable during a power outage when the grid is down can be daunting when you are just getting started.  Always, start with food then branch out from there.  Here is a list of some of the items mentioned in this article.

iRonsnow Emergency Solar Hand Crank AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio, LED Flashlight, Smart Phone Charger & Power Bank: This $20 unit has it all in one portable package.  It can be also be powered using 3 AAA batteries.  This is a great value.

Solar 11-in-1 Battery Charger:  This unit by C. Crane will charge up to 2 pairs of rechargeable batteries at once.  The solar panel is incorporated into the hinged cover which can be angled for maximum sun exposure. I like that his has a meter that shows you the the strength of the sun  and the time required to fully charge the different types of batteries.

RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Ports: This compact, three panel, solar charger will charge two devices at once, including tablets, smartphones, Kindles, and even AA/AAA battery chargers.  Value priced at about $50.  For more information, read: Gear Review: RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Ports.

RAVPower® 3rd Gen Deluxe 15000mAh External Battery: Use the sun to power an external battery pack.  By doing so, you will always have battery power to spare without being dependent upon electricity.  Perfect to have on hand for dark, stormy days, night time, or when you don’t have the time to wait around for a full charge in the sun.

Blocklite Ultra Bright 9V LED Flashlight: I own six of these little gems. There is a similar flashlight called the Pak-Lite (which is more expensive) but it does not have a high-low switch like this one. Less than $10. These little flashlights just go and go, plus, they make good use of those re-purposed 9V alkaline batteries that you have recharged with your Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger.

blocklite flashlight

Dorcy LED Wireless Motion Sensor Flood Lite: Don’t let the $20 price lead you to think this wireless flood light is wimpy. I have two of these (so far) and feel that these lights are worth double the price.

Chemical Lighting aka Light Sticks: These are inexpensive, portable and easy to use.  These come in a number of colors so take your pick.  For more information about glow sticks and chemical lighting, read 10 Reasons to Add Glow Sticks to Your Survival Kit.

Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets (Pack of 10): I do believe in helping my neighbors in the community so a supply of these will be handy to hand out to those in need. You will be surprised at how warm these will keep you. Be sure to test one out in advance so that you have the confidence to trust the blanket in an emergency. About $6 for 10.

Grabber Outdoors Original Space Brand All Weather Blanket:  I was interested in a re-usable emergency blanket so I purchased one of these based upon the excellent reviews.  This space blanket is definitely “heavy duty” compared to the cheapies (not that they don’t have their place because they do).  A Backdoor Survival reader passed on this tip:

We place one of these blankets silver side up on our mattress underneath the fitted sheet or mattress cover.  It reflects body heat like you wouldn’t believe, instead of the heat being absorbed into the mattress.

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Comments

Survival Basics: Prepping for An Unexpected Power Outage — 21 Comments

  1. I bought a 20kW whole house generator so we didn’t have to do a specific load sub-panel – it can power the entire house so that simplified the wiring situation. Cost a bit more, but it was worth the peace of mind. And the fuel doesn’t worry me for a normal situation because we’re on natural gas piped into the house. In a longer term grid down event then natural gas won’t flow and I fall back to alternative cooking methods and individually powered items with small solar panels to charge their batteries.
    Speaking of solar, if you install solar and plan on using it during a power outage, please talk to the installer early in the process. Most grid-tied solar systems can’t work during a grid outage. You need to have a system designed to use a battery bank, or some of the newer inverters have an emergency power outlet that can be used during a grid outage.
    I heard a good prepping saying that I repeat early and often, “two is one and one is none.” Backup equipment, plans, etc and flexibility are key to riding out any disaster. Layered prepping is key. Let’s pick on lighting for me. First line of fallback from utility power is the generator, then I have choices of kerosene lamps, candles, flashlights and battery powered lanterns. I also just got a UVPaqlite as an experiment and while it doesn’t glow very brightly, if we’re in a world without electricity it’s a decent light for use after dark, assuming you have some sunlight to charge it.

  2. I enjoy your articles and always find something “to chew on” in my concerns about future disaster preparedness scenarios.

    You recommended CYBERSTORM (the book) and I read the one-star reviews on Amazon…many, many people thought it was awful, poorly written, no character development, etc., etc. I always check single-star reviews. If there are LOTS of them, then I stay away from those titles.

    So, instead, I thought I’d recommend One Second After and the two books by A. American (Going Home and Staying Home). Those were at least credible stories with good character development, good storyline, (some) good prepping “tools” to have, etc.

    One last thing, I notice you always seem to recommend disposable plates as part of your preps. While I do use disposables when camping on our property (I use our fire pit to burn trash). A well with backup hand pump is best, but if there is a stream in your BOL, a bottle of liquid dishwashing detergent will last a LONG time. I should mention that we’ve been camping on our property for over thirty years and many years before that when growing up. If you don’t have a usable water supply, you’re already screwed. If you have “doubtful” water, invest in a Berkey (or make one using 5-gallon buckets (see online for instructions) and be SURE to purchase extra filters (they’re $50 apiece and you’ll need at least 2 spares). Note: for seasonal streams, you’ll need to invest in storage tankage and perhaps solar or 12 volt battery pumps (Harbor Freight has cheap [i.e., won’t last too long] portable pumps).

    Make a water source (and filtration, chlorination, and TANKAGE) your number one priority after getting shelter at your BOL. Otherwise, you die…just like the rest.

    As for dishes, don’t take your dishes from home for camping/bugging out. We buy cheap china at second-hand stores for camping (it doesn’t have to match)…you can get nice plates that will last a lifetime for fifty cents apiece (check the label on the back…should be bone china). I also bought over 100 pieces of silverware (stainless steel, unmatched) for $2 at a second hand store. Garage sales are also places to get a “second set” of silverware on-the-cheap. The same goes for cook pots and pans (make sure you get lids for all cookware, and AVOID non-stick and aluminum ware–for health reasons).

    I also recommend garage sales for good, used, refillable, propane cylinders (check the expiration date stamped on the top carrying handle). If it is nearing its expiry date, exchange it at Home Depot, Wal-Mart, etc. The company that does the refilling also does the testing and replaces old/defective valves. Then refill your replacements at your favorite discount service station. On rare occasions, you can also find 5-gallon plastic gas cans…I snap these up because I use them for my garden tractor as well as my generator.

    No need to purchase a rocket stove. You can use a 1-gallon paint can, a 1-quart paint can, one 14.5- or 15-oz can for the fuel inlet and a pair of larger tomato or peaches cans for the chimney. I used a hammer and a nail to punch holes in a circle that I’d drawn on the two paint cans and “cut out” the circle using a heavy-duty knife blade. About six inches below the surface in the creek bed I found a supply of clay that I used as insulation between the inner 1-quart can and the outer 1-gallon can. SInce I had all these (used) materials on hand it didn’t cost me a cent and only took a little over an hour to construct it. My only “safety” recommendation would be to wear gloves when handling the knife and to make sure the 1-quart paint can has had all the paint removed…you don’t want to be inhaling burnt latex paint.

  3. What I forgot to mention regarding my dislike of disposable plates: Even if you bag plates and leftovers to prevent stench, you’ll soon have a mountain of trash that will: 1) tell the world “where” you are, and 2) trash WILL attract vermin AND larger animals such as raccoons, bears, opossum, etc. If at all possible, burn all paper trash (including can labels and scorch those food cans/containers to eliminate food odors. This is probably illegal, but in a life-or-death bug-out scenario, I’d consider burning all that plastic and mylar packaging as well (only do it QUICKLY and at NIGHT so you don’t give away your BOL with clouds of black smoke AND be sure you don’t inhale those toxic fumes.

    • I like that “old guy”. I had never thought of the black smoke giving away your location. We have a campfire in the back yard every time the grand kids come over, and I am always reminding them NOT to put the plastic plates in the fire. I hate the black smoke and the stench.

    • This blog post really got me to thinking about getting a rocket stove (or two). I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of getting one before, probably because there’s so many other things on my list of things to get or to build.

      I like the idea of building your own stove. Thanks for the input. On the other hand, there’s this to consider:

      You didn’t mention how much clay it took to build your stove. For someone who does not have their very own stream-bed to get clay from they might have to buy some. A quick check at a craft store or Walmart, the lowest priced 5 lb. brick of pottery clay is about 9 bucks. Would that type of clay work or would you have to use Blackjack Low Fire Clay at 11 bucks a brick? Would 5 pounds even be enough? And how thick should it be? Is there anything you can do to prevent it from breaking up or cracking as it ages or from use?

      If you had to buy a cheap pair of tin snips, add another 9 bucks. Sure, you might be able to find a pair for one Dollar at a garage sale, but if you go just for the purpose of getting tin snips, what about the cost of gasoline to get there and your opportunity costs?

      If I went through all that trouble to build a stove I’d want to put a coat of Specialty High Heat paint on it to make it last a little longer and maybe come close to what I could buy, so, add 4 bucks for a can of paint.

      If I wanted a door on the stove, the cheapest form of a hinge I can think of is to use wire, so, toss another 4 bucks in.

      Total on the low side is 24 bucks for a homemade stove, unless I bought the tin cans, so, a one gallon can is about 8 bucks at Walmart, a one quart is about 4 bucks, I should get both, right? Making it a grand total of 36 bucks and I didn’t even include the cost of a hammer and nails.

      You say you built yours for free, but then I got to thinking, you didn’t include the purchase price of your land, nor the taxes you pay on it, into your calculations. The homemade stove wasn’t, “free”.

      I read that the larger rocket stoves come with cast iron tops to rest a pan on. I’m not going to add up the cost of forging my own iron and I imagine there’s a product out there somewhere I could scavenge from to make something work, but at what cost and how much time, and how well would it work, compared to what I could buy?

      There’s pros and cons to everything. Just thinking out loud, here. For an iron free 64 Dollar difference I think I would rather buy one. But then, that’s 64 bucks I could spend on something else. Decisions, decisions.

      Anyway, today I found what my boundary is for what I would be prepared for. Knowing and having boundaries is important, imho. Unless I move to South America I’m Not going to prepare for this;

      https://fas.org/pir-pubs/nuclear-war-nuclear-winter-and-human-extinction/

      The eerie artwork at the top reminded me of homesteaders and was a reminder to me to not be overly self-confident.

      • Helot, great thoughts!

        You don’t need to buy clay. I always think: what is available? In my area there is subsoil (dry clay) about two feet down. I got it my soil from the streambed because I was hoping to find a source of water and got into the clay and couldn’t dig much further. For that matter, ordinary dirt would work too. The only reason for clay/dirt/subsoil in the first place is to act as an insulator. You could use any non-flammable material on hand. If you’re a gardener, you may have perlite, if you have a sandbox in the backyard, use some sand.

        I also tried to describe the “no tool” method. REALLY! It only took me about twenty minutes longer using a hammer and a nail to outline the holes over using a pair of tin snips. I always try to use what is available. In a SHTF scenario, you may NOT have any tools except for rocks (pounding like a hammer), sharp stones or sharp sticks (your nail), and definitely use what is available for the metal stove parts…i.e., Use a discarded 5-gal bucket…even a plastic one in a pinch because the soil/clay/dirt surrounding the inner fire chamber will prevent the transfer of all that heat to the outside container.

        Another example: I wouldn’t shrink from using a quart paper milk carton for my inner fire chamber IF I used a gloppy clay material for insulation. YES, the quart paper carton WILL burn, but if you start the fire small and “cure” the clay, it will gradually harden and leave a “clay” fire chamber in its place.

        Always try to think outside the box. Never buy materials if there is something in the recycle container that would work just fine.

        Other containers to think about: 2-lb coffee cans, metal flashing (not galvanized) that can be rolled into shape and held by crimping the ends or held with a couple of screws or pop rivets.

        Start thinking about what is available rather than what to buy. You want only basic tools (knife, fire starter, cordage, bow saw blade, etc.) otherwise you’ll either be overloaded with tools in your bug-out bag and won’t be able to run/escape when your life MOST depends on it. Think s-u-r-v-i-v-a-l, not convenience. Build your skill set, not your kit. Exercise your mind (brainstorm for “what-ifs” and “what do I with what I have on hand” rather than “what specialty tool must I add”.

        Not to quibble, but if I were to walk half a block away and camp in a ravine, I’d not have to pay taxes, etc. I could still find the necessary materials from neighboring trash cans and the side of the road. I could still find something to use as a tool. Granted, I’d want at least a pocket knife and a BIC lighter for starters, but I don’t need a chainsaw to find sticks, twigs, etc. Like I said, we have to exercise our minds if we are to survive a WORST-CASE scenario.

        Thanks for your comments!

  4. Hi Gaye, I love reading your post, I don’t know if you have addressed my question before in your blog, but I would like to know what one would do if they live in an apt or house with no fireplace for heat. Do you have any suggestions for a way to keep warm in a situation such as this? I have heard kerosene heaters are not a good for indoor heating.
    A generator would be hard to get up to a 2nd floor patio and are noisy. Any other suggestions?

    • Dear Jean,

      I strongly suggest you read the Propane For Preppers, The Five Part Series link above. Especially part five.

      Imho, the best start is a warm pair of snowpants. I have a second oversized pair I was going to get rid of but I thought: I can wear it over my snowpants and be doubly warm while sitting idle inside and still be able to move around.

  5. Can anyone recommend a good hand crank / solar-and-crank radio? I’ve had pretty poor luck with the ones I’ve purchased thus far.

  6. I wonder what exactly you mean by, ‘pretty poor luck with the ones I’ve purchased thus far’? And, which ones?

    Myself, I would like to get one that picks up HAM. I’ve been watching for a battery powered one even, but not sure which is good. I have a tiny 5″x3″ Grundig mini400 that kind-of gets stations in, mostly at night, and in Chinese or Spanish or religious broadcasts. I’m in a bad location though and do not use any kind of extra antenna. It’s definitely lightweight though.

    I saw a WWII era giant hulk of a HAM radio receiver for sale on Craigslist awhile back and briefly thought about getting it. I’m under the impression that tubes are a bit EMP resistant, but who knows.

  7. Helot: By “pretty poor luck” I mean that neither the crank nor the solar charging worked well (although the crank would work better than the solar). And I always made sure that the radio was capable of receiving shortwave. 🙂

  8. What 10k generator can power your whole house?

    And don’t all backup gens allow for testing at any time frequency you choose?

    • We have a Generac natural gas 10kw it powers everything in the house (1500 sq ft ranch w/basement). When it was installed they turned everything on, furnace all the lights air conditioner, etc at the same time. the generator started and ran but you could tell with the furnace AND AC, washer, dryer, etc on it was a bit labored. We wouldn’t be doing that in an emergency or shtf situation but it was nice to know the generator could handle things. Ours self starts every Sunday at a specific time to run the engine, get the oil circulating making sure it will run. Our installer told us unless we ran it continuously 365, to have it checked out every 3-4 years for maintenance, oil change. In the four years we’ve had it, it’s performed admirably and we’re going to have the first maintenance check shortly

  9. While I have a generator to run basics like the refrigerator, TV, Satellite, and a few lights I don’t power the whole house. I have LED stickup lights in the bathrooms and bedrooms. They don’ provide enough light to read by or anything but plenty to move around the room,dress go to the bathroom ect. The plus side is they are always there and light up with one touch. You replace the battery’s once a year and forget them till needed.

  10. greetings, gaye. i read all your posts & appreciate all the common sense info. i would like to add, regarding black-outs, the necessity of shutting off/down all un-necessary appliances, (lights, tv’s, electronics,the dryer, washing machine, etc) as soon as the grid goes down. how many times have we seen the lights flicker when the juice returns? all of these small ‘laterals’ add up and can defeat the efforts to restore power. for you preppers: include as many bandanas/kerchiefs in your kits as practible. last but not least a solid leather strap around your waist connected w/a solid metal buckle. no junk/laminates.

  11. I love the United States, so this is NOT trashing you guys.
    THIS THOSE NOT APPLY IF IS COLD SEASON!!!!
    I’m from Dominican Republic, in the Caribbean, born and raised and still living here, and let me tell you, I feel sorry for you when natural disasters happen over there or just a simple power outage.
    The other day we (me and my husband) had an outage in our neighborhood due to a storm and the power was out for like two days or so and our inverter ran out of juice. My husband (american and used to A/C) didn’t know what to do with himself when it was time to go to sleep and there wasn’t even a fan on (we have two of those running simultaneously with the A/C). It was actually a cool night because it was still raining from the storm and all the windows were open so we could get some nice breeze but he was still suffering and wanted to go to a Motel to “sleep properly”. I wasn’t bother by it as much as him ’cause I grew up with 12 hours a day of NO POWER thanks to our amazing government. As long as I have running water, I’m good!!!
    I tell you this basically to corroborate Gaye’s proposition of no power for a whole weekend to know where you stand in terms of endurance and to adjust from there, to know what you and your family will need when that kind of disaster happens. No, of course is not a walk in the park (I think now-a-days a walk in the park is more dangerous anyway!!), but if you don’t panic or get desperate and you have the essential for survival you will get through it like us people in third world countries do.
    And even thou I live in a island that the big bad guys of this Earth probably don’t even know about, I am a prepper and we have our own bad guys, a stupid government and suffer LOADS of Mother Nature’s temper tantrums, so we know a thing or two about surviving and prepping for when SHTF.
    P.S: THIS SITE IS AMAZING!!!!

  12. Last month in suburbia we had seven black outs in seven days, ranging from just long enough to trip all the switches to a few hours.

    One hit just before making breakfast, and far and away the easiest thing to use was a Coleman propane camp stove with one of the little green bottles. We keep a couple of the #20 canisters, mostly for camping but also for longer term emergencies like hurricanes, and a dozen or so of the small ones. This particular small one had been partially used a year or more ago, and still had plenty in it. Worked fine.

    Our house has excellent natural cross ventilation so we just set it up on the regular stove and cooked away. (Don’t do this in a poorly ventilated room as they make carbon monoxide, which is not a long term survival enhancer-type gas.) We ground coffee beans with a stone mortar and pestle- the bigger the pestle, the easier the grinding as the weight does the work- and used our normal French press.

    We didn’t have a problem with washing up, but if we did, we keep paper plates and bowls for emergencies. Unlike the plastic ones, there is no reason not to burn them.

    “most people already have the most basic power outage survival items on hand: Flashlights Batteries…”

    I’m not so sure about that anymore. Years ago I gave five-D-cell Maglights to several people for Christmas, and the following years followed up with fresh batteries. The third year I was told to STOP IT as they did not replace the old batteries and had no intention of doing so, even though they were free from me. I tried using one a couple years after that, and sure enough, deader than a hatchet handle. Some very smart, very well educated people just refuse to learn. I, of course, am the wierdo. So it goes.

  13. “Some very smart, very well educated people just refuse to learn. I, of course, am the wierdo. So it goes.”

    Ain’t – That – The understatement of the day/week/month/decade!

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