When you’re living out in the country, far away from the city, it’s important to be prepared for anything. When I was a child, we used to lose power to the house basically every time it stormed too hard. Sometimes it would flicker then come back on, and sometimes it would be out for a couple hours and we would just go to bed early or pick up a book or a board game instead of watching a movie. As a result, there were certain precautions that we took every time it rained. And that’s just how life was; it never occurred to me that people wouldn’t be prepared for a power outage.
However, even if you don’t have faulty wires like my parents did, power outages do happen to the best of us, especially in the cold weather and the spring rains which can sometimes knock down power lines. So, here are some things that you can do in order to make sure that you’re prepared in the event of losing power at home:
1. Make sure you have a non-electric way to stay warm
Most homesteads have some sort of fireplace or something similar, so this might be an easy way. Regardless, in the winter months make sure that you have plenty of blankets which can be easily accessed. If you don’t have a fireplace, invest in some fuzzy socks, sweatshirts, and layers for everyone. If you live in a really cold area, you can pick up a solar powered heater or even a generator.
2. Invest in some good light sources
Sure, you could do everything by candlelight, but if you have kids or pets that quickly can turn into a fire hazard. Invest in a few really good flashlights or battery-powered lamps so that you don’t have to go to bed with the sun. There are solar-powered ones as well, but you’ll want to probably mostly avoid the kind that you wind to power as it will get old really quickly (although it can be good to have one as an emergency backup). Kerosene lamps are a good option, but make sure you keep an eye on them. And, of course, make sure you’ve got plenty of batteries or other fuel.
3. Have extra water on hand
This is something most people don’t consider, but if you have your own well, there’s a good chance that the pump that pulls the water up is electric. If you think it’s likely that you’ll have a power outage, fill up some gallon jugs with water and keep them for essentials. Just be sparing with it! Also, make sure that you cycle out the jugs every few months.
4. Have a plan for food
If you’ve got a gas stove, chances are that you’ll be just fine. However if your oven and stovetop are both electric, then you’ll need to either make sure that you always have some nuts and similar things on hand, or else find an alternative cooking source. In the summer you could just grill, but in the winter this may take some planning. Check this list of the best foods for power outages.
5. Get a solar phone charger
Most people don’t have house phones anymore, so having a fully-charged cell phone is an absolute must. Of course, since phones rarely last more than a day without charging anymore, getting a good solar-powered charger, a backup charger, or a second battery (if your phone’s battery is removable) are all good options to make sure you can call for help if need be.
6. Keep supplies and flashlights were they are easy to find
Power outages always happen when you’re least expecting it, so make sure that there are at least a couple flashlights you can easily find. You don’t need one in every room, but make sure there is at least one that you won’t have to hunt down in the dark. My parents used to have one with a magnet on the side which was always stuck to the side of the fridge. From there, you can go about finding other sources of light and necessities.
7. Have a game plan
Last, but not least, make sure that you know what to do if there is a power outage, and talk with your family. Remind them to be cautious about running the water or flushing the toilet, as you may not have running water, and make sure they know where the supplies are in case of a power outage.
What do you do to prep for losing power? Leave a note in the comments below and let me know!