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The prepper’s guide to surviving a power outage

Sunday, October 20, 2019 by

Preppers habitually get their gear ready for common SHTF scenarios like power outages. Blackouts can occur at any time due to issues at a power station or natural causes like winds from a storm that’s strong enough to bring down power lines. Whatever the cause is, you must take measures to ensure that your family stays safe during a power outage, especially if you do not have a safe space like a storm shelter or underground bunker.

Before you lose electricity at home, follow these tips to prepare for a power outage in your neighborhood. (h/t to ThePreppingGuide.com)

1. Check your circuit breaker

If the lights suddenly go out, grab a flashlight and check if something tripped your circuit breaker. Sometimes, your home can lose power because you blew a circuit breaker.

Once you confirm that your circuit breaker isn’t the problem, proceed to the next step.

2. Get what you need from your supply box

Store all emergency supplies in a clearly marked box that every family member can easily access even when it’s dark. Doing this makes it easier to get what you need during a blackout.

Keep the following items in the supply box:

  • Flashlights (one for every family member)
  • Extra batteries
  • Emergency radio
  • Candles
  • Lighters
  • Matches
  • Emergency contact info (e.g., your work phone number/s, the power company’s telephone number, etc.)

3. Check if your neighbors also lost power

Doing this helps you determine how widespread the outage is.

4. Make sure every family member has a flashlight

Give everyone flashlights and put out candles before it gets dark.

Preppers with young children must keep all candles out of their reach and away from flammable objects. It might be safer to use lanterns instead of candles. (Related: Can you survive after a massive power outage?)

5. Unplug all electronics

When the power comes back on, it may cause a power surge that can fry your appliances. Avoid this by unplugging electronics like laptops, computers, gaming systems, charging cell phones, and TVs. Unplug devices with sensitive components.

6. Keep your fridge and freezer closed

If you have no idea how long the blackout is going to last, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed to keep perishable foods fresh for as long as possible.

When eating food from your fridge, start with the foods with a short shelf life like dairy products. Consume canned foods and non-perishables last. Once you consume all the food from your refrigerator, move onto the freezer food.

7. Stay warm during winter by having everyone in the same room

A winter blackout can pose more problems, particularly when it comes to keeping the whole family warm. Cover windows with blankets or thick curtains to trap the heat in your house. Gather everyone in one room to ensure that body heat stays in the small space.

Close any vents and doors leading to other bedrooms. You can also put rolled towels under the doors to keep the room warm.

8. Monitor the news on your emergency radio

Listen to local stations if the outage was caused by bad weather. You might have to bug out if things take a turn for the worse.

Hopefully, it’s only a short-term power outage. Check for updates from your local power company to find out how long you it will last. Generally, blackouts last less than 24 hours. Keep everyone entertained by playing board games or telling stories.

Make sure your survival stockpile has enough food to sustain your family for a long-term power outage. Get your preps ready before SHTF and show everyone where you keep the emergency supply box so they can just grab whatever they need.

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