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.
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:
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.
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.
This article was written by Gaye Levy from Backdoor Survival
Gaye Levy started Backdoor Survival so that she could share her angst and concern about our deteriorating economy and its impact on ordinary, middle-class folks. She also wanted to become a prepper of the highest order and to share her knowledge as she learned it along the way. On Backdoor Survival you will find survival and preparedness tools and tips for creating a self-reliant lifestyle through thoughtful prepping and optimism.
To read more from Gaye, visit her website, Backdoor Survival. You can also follow Gaye on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest or purchase her eBook, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage on Amazon.com.
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