Power Outage Supplies

Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭

After a storm I lost power for almost a full 24 hours and I am now adding to my supply list. What would you put on your list?



  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 994 ✭✭✭✭

    I have battery operated lights you wear on your head so your hands are free. I also have battery operated cell phone chargers.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have battery lights for every room. I keep a few gallons of water on hand. I have a small backup camp stove and if its nice we cook outdoors.

    I am working on a small solar board, good enough to keep a few small appliances on, mainly the refrigerator or freezer. In winter we just set stuff outdoors.

    I would like to have what they called a spring house to keep cold things cold. And I would love to use water as a energy source but my county frowns on that. We have so much water it would be the perfect solution.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,225 ✭✭✭✭

    Several years ago we had an ice storm and I was dog and house sitting at the time. My friend had one of those yellow floating lights that are square we both thought it would lend a lot of light. Not so. I called a man who lived close by and he brought me a light switch (that is what it looked like) and a solar powered plug in for my phone and e-reader (I forget what you call them. Also he brought a light which lit up the whole room.

    I had stored water and plenty of food. My car got buried in the snow because some lightweight trees fell on it and it was 5 days before I asked some friends to dig it out.

    Everything was so icy that I couldn't go past the front porch until it thawed. The electricity was out for 36 hours.. I opened the drapes for light and read a lot.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,353 admin

    Our electric provider is a bit more reliable now, but until recently, we could count on being without power for 1-2 weeks during any major storm, and usually the same for a hurricane in the summer/fall. I always keep jugs of water on hand. In the winter, snow can be melted to flush a toilet (well pump is electric), but it takes a lot. Most times, I'll take a bucket to the creek even if I have to break up some ice, or just catch rain off of the roof in warm weather. In winter, I keep kerosene and firewood for heat and cooking. In summer, I use charcoal in a small grill on the porch, in a well ventilated area. I keep batteries for the radio and a light... and consider it a vacation from tv and internet. I keep plenty of dry beans, frozen veggies, stock and some meat in the freezer. The first step is usually to get a big stock pot full of soup going, using frozen stuff as the base, but adding anything from the fridge that could spoil. Canned goods are saved for later. I keep some drinking alcohol on hand, tea, coffee and OTC meds stocked. I have lamps and lamp oil. I read books, listen to the radio and hope no neighbors fire up a generator close enough by for me to hear it - I HATE that sound! A few years ago, we had an ice storm that brought a tree down on my car.... so, no power or transport for over two weeks, 70 mph winds and -20 temps. It wasn't too bad, really. I sat in the attic and shot squirrels with a pellet rifle in the evenings... nice addition to supper.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,502 admin
    edited July 2021


    I have several flashlights, different sizes and styles for different applications. Ones with hanger hooks or magnets are good for hands free. Some are rechargeable. I also have some small lantern type flashlights. I have 5 kerosene lamps (one is a Dietz yard light) and 20 liters (5 gallons) of kerosene. Lots of candles and candle holders.

    I have 2 rechargeable cell phone chargers that will fully charge a cell phone or Ipad at least 4 times and another solar phone charger. Cell phones will keep you in communication as long as the cell towers are operational.

    I have a rechargeable radio/flashlight that uses batteries, solar or hand crank power. This keeps you up on the news and alerts if cell phones don't work.

    We have a generator so that we can run our fridge and freezers intermittently to keep them cold.

    I have butane camp stoves. Two bigger ones and a couple that are called spider burners that fold up into a flat pack. And I have a two burner propane camp stove. My kitchen has a wood range, a propane range and outside, a propane BBQ. So I am set for cooking. In addition to the wood range, we have a wood furnace for heat.

    The BioLite products are pretty good. Cooking, grilling, lights and charger all in one. A friend of mine has one and thinks it is excellent.

    @Monek Marie They make all sorts of micro turbines now that are very easily installed. Have you seen the Waterlily products? Small enough that no one would notice. They work on wind as well.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,502 admin

    This is a link to an emergency preparedness guide from the Canadian government.


    This is a link to the US government power outage website.


    This is a link to the DO 1 THING website. Lots of good resources on this page.


    TGN has a couple of good e-books in the library that can help with preparedness.

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/tgn-pdf-uploads/25-Herbs-SamCoffman-REPORT.pdf and


    There is this blog article on generators.


    I would also make sure that I had a working, battery operator carbon monoxide detector. You just never know what might be capable of creating unsafe levels of carbon monoxide during a power outage.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,502 admin

    I keep saying this. Take a first aid course. Good for any kind of disaster or emergency situation. Then stock a good first aid kit (with lots of herbal remedies & preparations).

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,356 admin

    Boy, you all think practically and sound very prepared.

    We have battery powered flashlights and a wind up radio. We also have LED headlamps. LEDs are so good and you can get really good ones in stores now, even at the dollar stores.

    We have some camp stoves & a woodstove, now stored outside, a wood cookstove that still needs a couple parts. We have 3 little charcoal barbecues & a firepit with racks. Cast iron pots & pans are plentiful here, useful if we need to cook over an open flame.

    We do have some meagrope (in German), also known as a sugar kettle, feed cooker or cauldron. There's lots of wood close by too. We have used the meagrope for heating water for baths when without power. We have our largest one on a stand and can build a fire beneath.

    We haul water from a spring and often have many pails of it on hand. We do have a well that we could possibly use in a pinch. This would be most useful for flushing and that sort of thing since it hasn't been drawn from in a long time.

    Heat in the house in winter would now be a bit tricky since we no longer have a chimney, but my husband is good at figuring those things out.

    He has also taken first aid courses and the rest of us know some basic stuff, including a bit of herbal knowledge. Our daughter has learned some taping & such and has some supplies from a generous former judo medic. We also have a first aid kit with some foil blankets.

    Our fences have solar fencers. We have to remember our animals. If power goes out when my incubators or chick heat mats are going, there is a few things that can be done, but it can get tough. I've been there, and losses are to be expected if power is off too long. Blankets/many towels & hot water in pop bottles or warmed up rocks help.

    A spring house would be nice @Monek Marie. 😍

    We should get a generator. We've talked about it for a long time.

    @torey That Waterlily turbine is cool.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,356 admin

    Ah, and to dry clothes, a clothesline is your friend.

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you all so much! I will definetly be adding some of these suggestions to my supplies! If anyone has anymore please keep them coming. I have never heard of anyone being upset for being over prepared for a situation!

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,482 admin
    edited August 2021

    @Cornelius definitely a diesel or petrol generator, enough to keep a fridge/ freezer going. A power pack so you can charge a phone or device. Solar spotlight. Petrol water/ firefighting pump. Gas cooker/ BBQ. Reliable water supply. Canned foods etc. A tool kit that’s just easy to put your hands on, in any emergency. I always keep the fuel level in our cars on the full side, you just never know. Sorry if I’ve repeated things, didn’t read the other posts.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,502 admin

    @JodieDownUnder A gas-fired water pump is an excellent idea. One reason for the power being out is that a fire may have taken out the power grid. A water pump will enable you to get water (if you have a water source) for personal use but also help you fight the fire.

    Similarly on keeping your tanks full. Living out of town, our vehicles never go by the gas station without filling.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭

    We generally have our power outages in winter. We have our camping cook stove which we bring up to the kitchen and can prepare our food. We just do like we do when we are camping and make sure that we take a very short time when getting things out of the fridge or freezer. We have never experience a power outage long enough that our food has spoiled. I have several lights that are re-chargeable lights. We have a fireplace which generally keeps the center of our house warm. When we re-build, I would like to investigate the possibility of building in a rocket stove or a Russian style fireplace with a heat recovery system.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,911 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Top priorities I would suggest include:

    • Lights, such as simple headlamps, preferably USB rechargeables instead of throwaway batteries (e.g. Nitecore NU 25)
    • Some basic solar panels and a couple of AGM batteries, just enough to keep lights, fan, and radio (for news) going
    • Cooking stove that doesn't need power; could be wood, propane, isobutane, alcohol, etc.
    • A few days of canned food that don't need refrigeration

    There are other items that would be nice to have, but have a significant cost, so I haven't pursued them, such as:

    • Generator capable of keeping the refrigerator and freezer going, and enough fuel for at least 3 days

    My biggest concern when the power is out is that I will lose the contents of my freezers, especially meat. So far that has never happened because it has never been off more than a few hours.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,911 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Almost forgot the big one: water! Our water comes from the town water system, and since we are on a hill, when the power goes out we are the first to lose water pressure and the last to get it back once the power is on again.

    We're in a wet climate, so there's usually water available in the sump bucket for flushing the toilet or simple washing. In winter, we can easily melt snow on the woodstove. But in an extended outage, water supply would be a concern.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,502 admin

    This post is all about safety in an emergency.

    Just a note to anyone who is using an alternative cooking source inside.

    Butane units are made for use indoors. "Sterno" type solid fuel or gel fuel cans are made for use indoors. Propane, naptha (white gas) or kerosene campstoves are not meant to be used indoors and can create a build up of CO (Carbon Monoxide). Same for briquettes. Please make sure you are using them in well ventilated areas and that you have a working CO monitor. We have had several cases of CO poisoning across BC over the last few years.

    For anyone who has a fireplace that isn't often used, make sure you check to see that the flue damper is open. Before lighting a fire, you might want to check that a bird, squirrel or other animal hasn't built a home in your chimney since your last fire. Clean your chimneys regularly.

    For anyone using wood to heat or cook, or using any other alternative cooking source or even candles, please ensure that you have a fire extinguisher close at hand. And a burn kit. Burns happen more often when you are using a cooking source that might be unfamiliar. It is easy to forget about hot pot handles over an open flame.

    If you are on the gas grid, make sure you know where your gas meter is and how to turn it off if instructed by the gas company in your area. Have a list of emergency contact numbers for the utility companies.

    @VermontCathy The flashlights that recharge via USB are awesome. I have a couple and was really surprised at the lumen output. And they last just as long as any other rechargeable light (possibly longer).

    On that note, having a charger cord (with multi charging ports) that works off the electrical output ports (lighter) of a vehicle is a good idea.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,911 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @torey Good suggestions. I use my alternative stoves outside on the back deck, NOT indoors in the kitchen.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,502 admin

    Our provincial government has come out with several brochures to assist with emergency preparedness including ones for people who live in urban neighbourhoods and apartments/condos. They all have great information and suggestions, as well as fill in info cards and household plans. Even one for your pets.

    The United Way has partnered with several other agencies to offer a Blue Bottle Program in our province. It is based towards assisting seniors with info regarding their health and medications should they become incapacitated (but our VFD has been giving them out to anyone who wants them). The packages include information sheets that each member of the household fills out, a large blue prescription type bottle (to hold the information sheets) and a couple of stickers. So you fill out the paperwork with medical history, prescription info, practitioner's names & numbers and emergency contacts. The paperwork rolls up and goes into the prescription bottle. The bottle then goes in the freezer section of your fridge. You put a sticker on your front or main entry door and one sticker on your fridge. This alerts any paramedics or other emergency personnel that they can access your information quickly and easily. This is a really awesome program and I encourage everyone to check to see if there is something similar in your area.

  • stephanie447
    stephanie447 Posts: 404 ✭✭✭

    Everyone has such great suggestions, so I can't add much. I do like those battery-powered candles. I have rechargeable batteries charged up and ready to go for them.

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,019 ✭✭✭✭✭

    One option we use a lot since we live off grid is to can a lot of items instead of freezing them. I frequently buy ground beef in major quantities. Like 20-40 pounds at a time. This usually gets me a better price often as much as a dollar a pound cheaper. Then I boil it in a large soup pot. Drain it to remove excess grease and can using beef broth or bullion. Any dish I would use browned ground beef for now gets a head start because it is already cooked. Taco meat, spaghetti sauce, casseroles, beef enchiladas. This could be done for other items too. Sausage patties, small burgers, beef stew meat, veggies, etc. Easy to make quick meals with a few jars and no refrigeration needed.

    We have a propane cook stove and a wood cook stove in the kitchen and a wood heater. Plus propane bbq, charcoal bbq which I have also used wood in on occasion. As well as a 2 burner propane camp stove. We have a well on our property which can be run off a generator.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,225 ✭✭✭✭

    @vickeym Great ideas. I have had beef that has been canned in a pressure canner and it was really good.

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you all so much! These are all great suggestions and safety info!

    @VermontCathy and @torey Where did you get your rechargeable flashlights?

    Does anyone know where @Marjory Wildcraft got her fire starter (charges by USB) and a hand crank generator that she had on the Grow System summit?

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,415 ✭✭✭✭✭

    We had some massive storms here on Wednesday. We lost power along with most of the other people and businesses. They are saying it will likely be several more days if not a week before power is completely restored. We have a generator for running the freezers and refrigerator. We have a large variety of battery powered and rechargeable flashlights, rechargeable power banks for our cell phones. The outdoor kitchen isn't finished yet but it is set up enough that I have still been able to cook everything I normally would. We have a few solar power lights. I learn best by experience. This experience is showing me that at my house we need more solar options. We need a better way to run power from the generator to parts of the house. I find myself wishing I had better equipment to wash laundry by hand. And although we haven't lost water this time it is a real possibility and I know that I don't have enough water storage for my family if that were to happen. I'm very glad that I have meals canned in the pantry for quick and easy options. I will probably increase the amount of food that I have canned and reduce my freezer stock.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,502 admin

    @Cornelius My VFD has several. Different makes and styles. Some are Stanley. We may have purchased those at Canadian Tire. Amazon also has them. I think at least one is a DeWALT. Also available on Amazon. They are all pistol grip spot light style.

    One of our personal flashlights is a Motomaster Eliminator (also pistol grip). We've had it awhile and can't remember where it was purchased from. We have a couple of smaller flashlights that are also USB chargeable.

    Milwaukee makes a nice standard hand held flashlight that is USB chargeable. Bit pricey, though. Browning has a couple of models but also quite pricey.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am considering adding this to my supply cabinet. Headlamp/area lamp/powerbank all in one kit. Reasonable price.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,225 ✭✭✭✭

    Great idea!

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,911 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Cornelius I recommend the Nitecore 25, which is available from www.nitecorestore.com, Amazon, and bhphotovideo.com.

    It's not the kind of thing you are likely to find locally.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,911 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @vickeym I'm curious, where do you buy 20 to 40 lbs of meat at a discount? Do you have a butcher nearby who is offering discounts for larger quantities?

  • Granny Marie
    Granny Marie Posts: 53 ✭✭✭

    @vickeym I cook up large amounts of hamburger but then I dehydrate it and vacuum-seal it in pint jars. Called hamburger rocks.

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey , @VermontCathy , and @RustBeltCowgirl Thank you! I will look into those!