Preparing for a power outage may seem preemptive, but it is nonetheless a good thing to do. A power outage makes living uncomfortable. Stores are quickly depleted while stocks are prone to quicker spoilage. With the machines and modern conveniences of life unavailable, we find ourselves returning to the dark age pretty fast. We make the stunning realization that we haven’t evolved as a people.
No one fancies a descent into the Stone age, and, thankfully, no one has to. With this exhaustive guide, we look at the various ways of living comfortably and conveniently when there’s a power outage.
Preparing For Power Outage: Emergency Kit Setup
A power outage creates a terrible emergency. I doubt you’d know this only if you haven’t been in one yourself. You, therefore, have to prepare for it as you prepare for a flood or storm. Firstly, you have to create an emergency kit, which typically contains your basic supplies. That is, food, water, and medications. We have discussed this previously, and you can read more here.
Having known how to prepare an emergency kit, we’ll proceed to look at the various ways to adopt to make each aspect of life easy and comfortable even without power. Here we go.
Preparing For A Power Outage: Cooking Options
Well, isn’t this the first problem of a power outage? When we are out of power for a long while, cooking can become a pressing issue. Your kids will only eat pudding cups and crackers for so long before demanding for a proper meal. Luckily, there are various ways to cook during a power outage
A propane stove is a simple and effective way of cooking in the absence of power. With a functional propane stove, you can cook just like you normally do. Also, a propane stove can power appliances, and you may not feel the keen effects of a power outage. This means you can store foods easily, as propane will power your refrigerator. Isn’t that excellent?
Often criticized due to the reliance on the weather but, nonetheless, an excellent backup for an electric cooker, a solar oven is a wonderful way to keep cooking. With the sun up in the sky, you can use your solar oven to prepare meals for a day without having to buy any fuel. However, the criticisms of a solar oven aren’t baseless. This option can be useless during a power outage caused by a storm.
A charcoal grill is less expensive than the two alternatives mentioned above but can be much more stressful. It is ideal for outdoor uses only (which may be impossible during heavy rainfall). What else, it requires a sizable store of dry charcoal as well as significant time and energy to set up.
If you can’t access any of the options discussed, an open fire would work fine too. Some dry twigs, sticks, and fuel is an excellent way to start a fire in your yard. If you can’t find a matchbox, a pair of stones or metal would do it.
Preparing For A Power Outage: Food Storage Options
A power outage often means that the refrigerator and microwave stop working. Thus, storing cooked foods can quickly become a major problem. How do we keep refrigerated food from spoiling when there is no power? There’s only a short amount of time before foods reach a temperature that makes them unsafe to consume.
The USDA —United States Department of Agriculture— advises you to keep your freezer below 0°F. In comparison, your refrigerator is kept below 40°F to maximize the effectiveness of these appliances when without power. However, most freezers and refrigerators don’t measure temperature correctly, thus, a thermometer can be useful.
Also, you can keep ice packs in the freezer to keep foods cold. When it starts to warm up, get a cool box, and transfer your meals inside. Frozen water bottles can be useful as well. They can keep food frozen as well as be thawed out for drinking.
Preparing For A Power Outage: Sourcing Water
We source water through power. In an outage then, what do we do? We have to cook, drink, bathe, keep clean as well as do some other things. Relax; start breathing, there are great alternatives to a power-based water supply.
Rainwater is an excellent alternative during a power outage. You don’t need power or any special machine to harvest rainwater. Setting up a rainwater collection system before a power outage will be of great help. To set this up, all you typically need would be some gallons. Just position them below the gutters and downspouts of your roof, and you’re good to go.
However, we do not know if the rain will coincide with a power outage. You, therefore, have to store rainwater for future use. For this purpose, a storage tank of a large size will be most ideal.
There are countless water bodies to obtain water from, although this will depend on their availability in your region. Some locales do not have a stream, river, or lake, and it can, therefore, be challenging to get water during a power outage. Even in regions with rivers or streams, you can find it stressful to fetch water daily.
A well is also a great way to get in the event of a power outage. You can work with other members of the community to install one in a strategic position.
Conclusion On Preparing For A Power Outage
Preparing for a power outage leaves you in an excellent position if it ever occurs. True, we rarely experience a power outage, and that rarity makes it even more complicated when we do. Keep in mind that life can be very uncomfortable without power.
Fortunately, our guide will see that you do not find yourself in this position. In the second and last part of this article, we’ll look at other ways to manage effectively during a power outage.