What Should You Have Ready When The Power Goes Off

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Today it’s all about being ready when the power goes off. Yesterday, about 4:20 P.M. our little town in Southern Utah lost power for a few hours. I think it was off about 3-1/2 hours. I was sitting on the couch petting my dog and sipping some limeade, yes it’s full of sugar and tasted fabulous. I heard that sound of a “beep” when the power goes off. You know, at first, you think “is it just my house or is it more widespread.” I looked on my cell phone to check out the Washington City FaceBook page. They mentioned there had been a car accident and a power transmission pole had been hit. The city had a team of people trying to get the power restored as quickly as possible. That’s cool, I was glad it wasn’t a terrorist attack or something that would be longterm.

I read a few comments and got the giggles because people were asking for an ETA…. people let’s be patient. There’s been a car accident and the workers were just getting started to assess and repair the equipment. Then one lady left a rather strong statement to the effect, “FYI, you will” as in Washington City, “have to replace the food I am fixing for dinner if it goes bad because the power is off.”

Let me explain, I usually never read those comments on FaceBook, but I was curious to see if someone from the city had responded to any questions about the power outage. This morning I got the giggles again thinking about that statement I read last night. I’m not making fun of her, I don’t know who she is and I would feel sad if her food went bad. But, I also think she should be prepared to cook a meal when the power goes off. Period, it’s that simple.

Mark and I sent a few text messages to some neighbors to see if they wanted some soup I was making with my gas stove. I used a match to start the flame and we had soup/chili in just a few minutes. You may not remember me telling the story about why I wanted a gas stove. I lived without a stove/oven for three months until my plumbing friend could run a gas line for a gas stove from the garage near the gas water heater into my kitchen area. I gave my electric stove to my daughter because her’s had gone out, so we got to wait a while for the plumbing job to be completed.

My sister had ordered takeout yesterday so they were set for dinner. Her husband drove in and that restaurant was open. A few neighbors sent a text back telling us they had steaks and kabobs on their barbecues. LOL! My chili/soup tasted great and cost a whole lot less to prepare.

I had just gone to the store about two weeks ago when a local store had a case-lot sale of canned goods. I mentioned to Mark I wanted to pick up some chili beans that were on sale. These three cans make a fabulous chili/soup. Of course, we need a hand can opener, you can make chili/soup in minutes, no meat, no spices and it’s fabulous and cheap. This is a great Can Opener and my favorite saucepan: Farberware Saucepan and my favorite emergency stove: Butane Stove and Butane Fuel if you do not have a  kitchen gas stove.

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If you are into preparedness a gas stove is critical for survival. Yes, I have several different cooking and baking devices, but a gas stove is #1 on my list. When the power went out it was getting later in the afternoon but still light enough to see in the garage area, I grabbed my solar lanterns and all my solar flashlights to put on the coffee table. You never know how long the power will be off. This is so dumb, but I kept thinking, “I sure hope the power comes on before my favorite Sunday night shows start tonight at 8:00 P.M.”

My Shih Tzu puppy does not like the dark or when the power goes off, his name is Bentley. I have to leave the kitchen light on for him in the morning and at night so he can find his food and water and the trail to his doggy door. Is he spoiled or does he just hate the dark, I don’t know. So I put a lantern in the kitchen for him once it got dark and I could see the power was going to be off a little longer than we had hoped.

power goes off

When the Power Goes Off:

Now keep in mind I’m suggesting these items be already in your possession so you can locate them ASAP when the power goes off in your home.

Flashlights:

I don’t buy flashlights with batteries, the batteries do not last here in Southern Utah for more than 6 months. Yes, it drives me crazy, but it’s fact. So, I only buy solar flashlights, lots of them, yes too many to count. You may even call me a hoarder, I do not like the dark. If you watch the Costco Roadshows you can get Goal Zero products cheaper, but I suggest you be ready ASAP before the power goes out in your area. Who knew a car was going to crash into that power pole and knock out the power to most of the city! You just never know when something like that catches you by surprise. So, just prepare NOW so you are ready for whatever.

If you use flashlights with batteries be sure and stock up on batteries. If you have some extra pillowcases you may want to get a group together to make a few of these for all your bedrooms: Emergency Bed Bag by Linda

power goes off

Goal Zero Large Solar Integrated Flashlight

Goal Zero Smaller and Nomad 7 Solar Panel

Lanterns or Lights:

I love lanterns because you can set them on your bedroom dresser, coffee table or your kitchen table. No fuel is required, just sunshine to recharge them. I love solar. I have headlamps, but they give me a headache, yes they are needed sometimes.

Reading Lights

Janet reminded me a good reading light would be awesome if the power is off for weeks. Grab a good book and read with Reading Light

Luci Lights

These were recommended to me by Dmwalsh and other readers, I’m ordering some today, just so you know. Luci Lights

Little Sun Solar Light

You can hang the Little Sun around your neck and walk around, plus it has two levels of light.

SunBell Solar Lamp

I love this one, I put it in the kitchen for Bentley.

Goal Zero Lantern

This one I can charge via my laptop with a USB charger and I keep it in my living room where it’s ready to go ASAP.

Solar Generators for CPAP’s and Nebulizers:

This particular one works well. I gave one to my son-in-law who requires a CPAP to help with sleep apnea to try one night and it lasted well over 8-1/2 hours with power still showing in the solar generator. CPAP Article by Linda

power goes off

Goal Zero Yeti 400 With Solar Panel

Food and Water:

You know the drill, we need at least four gallons of water per person per day and food that you would eat directly out of a can or fresh food from your garden. I need cans of food that I can open and eat cold or heat on my gas stove.

Cooking Devices:

This is a good one if you are not evacuated and don’t want to use up your propane gas via your barbecue.

Butane Stove and Butane Fuel

Vacuum Sweeper

Janet mentioned she was without power for a week, this non-electric Bissell Dual Brush Sweeper would come in handy.

If you think about it, when the power goes off we can get by during the day without air conditioning by opening the windows to hopefully catch a few breezes. If it’s cold outside, we can bundle up with extra clothing by layering and using blankets. If you have a wood burning stove and the fuel, you can stay warm and cook your meals if your stove is designed to do the cooking on the top of it.

I actually thought today’s experience was a good dry run for when the power goes off. Here’s the deal, I gathered all the solar flashlights and lanterns and recharged them today outside in the sunshine so I’m prepared for the next adventure.

Emergency Food Storage by Linda

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