While working on a 4-H project this summer, my eldest son was thrilled to be able to put together an emergency preparedness kit for power outages for our family. As someone that is extremely worried about and frightened by storms, this made him feel more empowered and prepared in the case of a storm that would cause a power outage.
Items to Place in Your Emergency Preparedness Kit for a Power Outage:
- Flashlights with Extra Batteries
- Well Stocked First Aid Kit
- Warming Blankets
- Candles and Matches (or Lighter) — use these with caution because of a risk of fire
- Drinking Water (for three days) — plan on one gallon of water per person per day (this takes into account for drinking, washing, and cooking)*
- Non-perishable, ready-to-eat food (for three days)*
- Manual Can Opener
- Coolers (to help keep refrigerated food cold) and Ice
- Food Thermometer (Check before preparing any of your refrigerated or frozen foods to make sure that they have not reached above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It is best to have a digital, quick response thermometer for this purpose.)
- Medicines (both over the counter and prescription medicines needed for your family members)
- Paper Towels
- Toilet Paper
- Hand Wipes
- Hand Sanitizer
- Personal Hygiene Products
- Work Gloves
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
- A Copy of Insurance Documents and Cards
- Copy of Important Personal Documents (particularly in case of evacuation)
- Cell Ph0ne and Chargers
- A Corded Phone (Portable phones won’t work in a power outage, but phones plugged into the wall will likely work.)
- List of Phone Numbers and Addresses of Friends, Family, and Doctor
- Extra Cash
It is important to remember to use the items from your kit that have expiration dates, such as food and medicines, and then replenish them when you use them. While it is great to have your kit ready in case of emergencies, it won’t be good if you prepare it and don’t need it for years, only to find that most of your food and medicine are well past their prime.
If you are in need of your kit items, that would be a horrible time to remember that you were going to rotate your stock of items and just never did it. Likewise, it is best to occasionally replenish the stock of bottled water as well.
*Three days is a minimum recommendation, and perfect for an evacuation situation. For home use, it is even better to have a two week supply.
Do you have an emergency kit?
photo by fun3MD