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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Keep Your Power Out Supplies Together: A 10 Min Prep Project

 Original Article

Here is a little fictional story that may seem familiar to some of you…

You come home after dark (around 5:30 pm in the winter) to find the power is out.

Darn!  WHERE did you put those flashlights?

No problem, you’ll just use the light on your phone to look for them.

Oh, these candle will do…shoot!  Where are the matches?

Back to searching…

Fifteen minutes later…finally found the flashlights.  Batteries are dead.  Where are the batteries?

Five minutes later.  You’ve found the matches and light some candles.

Now, what’s for dinner.  Let’s eat out!  Oh, nope that won’t work.  The power is out all over town.

Ok…can’t use the stove or the oven or the microwave.  We’ll go with cereal.

Ooopps…we are out of milk.

There is a camp stove somewhere, but the propane for it?  Not quite sure…

Found it!  Campbells chicken noodle soup it is!

Your son needs to turn in his homework.  But he needs a computer to do it.

Pull out the solar charger/generator.  How in the heck do I use this thing?  Did I throw away the instructions or keep them somewhere?

All right, it’s bedtime.  Freezing outside and no heater.  You know there are some extra blankets around somewhere.  Maybe the guest room?  Or the hall closet?  Nope.  Oh, yeah, you moved them to the laundry room.

Now, what about those little hand warmer things?  You could throw one under each person’s blankets.  But WHERE ARE THEY????

Take 10 minutes and move all your power out supplies together.

Why You Should Keep the Power Out Supplies Together?

 All right, so that might be (or IS) a bit exaggerated, but my point is that it is smart to keep all your power out supplies together.  The reason I was able to write the story above is that I’ve been the person in that story before.

We have our supplies in two spots.  This is our upstairs hall closet (near our bedrooms) where I keep almost everything except our powerless cooking supplies.

Take 10 minutes and move all your power out supplies together.

Take 10 minutes and move all your power out supplies together.

And this is where we keep our powerless cooking supplies.

Not pictured–We also have a Sun Oven and solar panels (for the solar “generators”).  We’ve also recently added a HERC oven  (which I love far more than the Sun Oven) and one bucket of tea lights to “fuel” it for a year.

We also keep flashlights in everyone’s top dresser drawer as well as in the car.  In addition, we have a Red Cross Black Out Buddy in each bedroom and hallway.

Power Out Supplies Checklist

Today, take ten minutes to find all your power out supplies and move them all to the same place.  Even if you can’t put them all in the same closet or room, put your batteries by your flashlights, matches by your candles, cords, and manuals by your generators, solar chargers, lights, etc., hand warmers by your blankets, and fuel by your stove.

If you don’t yet have all the power out supplies you’d like to, no worries!  It took me over four years to gather what I’ve got.  Just chip away at it a bit at a time.  God will bless you for your efforts however small.  There are four main categories you should consider:

  1. Light
  2. Power
  3. Heat
  4. Cooking

And if you’d like, you can read more power out tips here:  Living Without Electricity

Our Supplies:

If you are wondering what everything is in all those pictures up there, here are more details about what I have in our power out supplies.  *Some links below are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on the link. Thanks for supporting me and my family in this way!

Each of the products I link to is something I have purchased for my own family and fully trust.  Get ideas from the list below and maybe even set some goals for what you’d like to have eventually.   But remember, you don’t need everything all at once!  Just make sure you have a few good basics from each of the four categories!

  • Flashlights (found a great deal on these on Amazon. Not sure how long they will last, but I got them for $9.99 (regularly $70).  I like them because they use AA or AAA batteries, and we store rechargeable batteries in those sizes).  We also keep mini-mag lights by each bed.
  • Headlamps.  In a true disaster (earthquake, etc.) we’d likely need light AND the use of both hands.
  • Matches
  • 100-hour candles
  • Solar/crank lantern
  • Two Goal Zero Light a Life lights.  These are CRAZY bright and are powered by the Goal Zero generators.  These are no longer available, but have been replaced by the Lighthouse 250 which is even better!
  • and Nomad 7 Solar Panel (this will charge all our small electronics as well as AAA and AA NiMH batteries)
  • Solar generators.  The will power our mini-fridge. We have two so we can be using one while the other is charging.  The will power our computers and small kitchen appliances, etc.
  • Goal Zero 30M Solar panel.  We have three so we can chain them and charge the generators quicker.
  • Dome Generator.  Really just a battery with fancy gadgets on it.  We’d only be able to use it until it ran out of power.  But can be used to power computers, fill our car tires, jump our car, etc.  We use this for short-term power outages or to avoid going somewhere else to fill our tires.  (-:  We bought it before the Goal Zero products. The one I have is no longer available, but the one linked above is similar.
  • Homemade space heater using terra cotta pots and tea lights (DIY post HERE)
  • Hand Warmers.  We can put them under our blankets with us when we sleep.
  • Blankets (all kept together in a second upstairs closet by our bedrooms)
  • Matches

Since writing this post, we’ve added a HERC oven to our supplies.  If I could recommend one powerless cooking tool (after using all the others below), it’s the HERC oven and a butane stove.

  • Quick Meals
  • BaroCook.  Just add water to create heat and cook a small meal.  Great for immediately following a disaster when you don’t have time to find all your other more complicated cooking tools.
  • Two Single Burner butane stoves with extra butane
  • Propane camp stove with extra propane
  • Volcano stove
  • Quickfire stove
  • Quickfire pucks (I want more of these. Very stable fuel source.  Can be used in the quickfire stove and the volcano stove as well as to help start a fire/light charcoal, etc.)
  • Firewood  (We have a firepit and should store a lot more wood than we have).
  • Three Dutch Ovens
  • Charcoal (in buckets with gamma lids…for longer shelf life)
  • Sun Oven
  • Lighter fluid
  • Matches
  • Batteries of all sizes
  • Rechargeable NiMH batteries
  • Manuals.  I highly recommend that you keep the manual for every power out the product you own.  I also recommended that you write the name of the product on its power cord.  These aren’t supplies you will likely use often and you may need a refresher when the time comes!
  • Cords.  A lot of these products have cords, etc.  I label the cord with the product name and then keep all cords in the same spot.
  • Windup radio/flashlight

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