Power Outage Supplies



  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,102 ✭✭✭✭✭

    VermontCathy I buy it at our local grocery store. If you talk to the meat dept. manager at our store, we can buy bulk bags of at least 10 pounds and it is at least 50 cents a pound cheaper than the smaller packages they put out in the display case.

    Granny Marie I have heard of those and even tried them once. Was not a fan. But since we are also off grid, using the dehydrator is not a good option for us. Running the generator long enough to dehydrate something just isn't practical, and it is our understanding they don't run as well that way as the cycling on and off is harder on the generator and the electrical wavelength is not good for the dehydrator.

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 968 ✭✭✭✭

    Anything you can think of that you use when the electrics on. I know that sounds flippant but I'm serious. Ways to keep cool or warm. Ways to eat. Light. Bottled water, hand sanitizer. I did that exercise and it helped me prepare so much better for an outage we had a few winters ago.

  • Paradox
    Paradox Posts: 187 ✭✭✭

    If you're thinking it'll be in summer, I would totally include a couple of bags of ice! 😋

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,465 ✭✭✭✭✭

    What do you all think about oil lamps? Are they a better/worse option than flashlights and battery powered lanterns?

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Michelle D I was given a couple of beautiful glass oil lamps as a wedding present. They are mostly there to look pretty, but I keep lamp oil bottles around for emergencies, and I have used them for light during power outages.

    I remember one time after a hurricane when I had running water but no light, and I took a bath by the light of the oil lamp on the counter. It gave a softer, broader light than a flashlight would have.

    That said, I would invest in small electric lamps first, including rechargable headlamps or hand-held flashlights. If you can afford more, next I would invest in a basic solar system consisting of one or two small panels, a charge controller, an AGM battery of at least 35 amp-hours, and a small inverter. This will be enough to run one of your regular electric floor lamps, a radio to get news, and a small fan.

    If you need enough electricity to run refrigerators and freezers, you are looking at either an expensive solar system or a small generator. I haven't gone that route. So far our power outages have been short enough that we haven't lost any food.

    I wouldn't invest in oil lamps unless you found them very cheaply or already had them. However, if you do have the oil lamps, I would go ahead and buy a few bottles of lamp oil for emergencies.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @RustBeltCowgirl I can't speak to that specific lamp/battery/solar combination you linked, but the general idea is a good one.

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

    @VermontCathy I wouldn't specially buy an oil lamp when there a tons of things around the house that can used to make them. For most of us, olive oil is a staple in our kitchens.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @RustBeltCowgirl My hurricane lamps use kerosene. I think olive oil would not put out as much light and would be more expensive to use as fuel, but I haven't experimented.

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,102 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have a couple of this style Aladdin oil lamps. Not sure of the models and such. I bought used, several years ago. I love them. Don't use them all the time, but great for backup. They are much brighter than standard oil lamps. And you can get shades that go over the chimneys if you choose. I also did not pay this much for mine. But if I thought I would need them again, I would pay this much if I had to.


  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,633 admin

    @Vickey I have an Aladdin lamp like the one in the link. It has a shade as well. My mum got it for me many years ago. I have other kerosene lamps, too, but not as nice as the Aladdin.

    I also have a Dietz hurricane yard lamp that throws a lot of light. Again, a long ago gift from my mum.


    I agree that better quality lamps throw a much better light.

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,465 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The hurricane lanterns are the style of which I have the most. They had belonged to my father. I also have a few decorative oil lamps. They don't give off much light. It has been hard to find fuel for any of them locally lately.

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,102 ✭✭✭✭✭

    torey I have also had a Dietz hurricane lamp, actually a few. Was never very impressed. The ones I had tended to smoke easily and did not put out much light Really prefer the Aladdin.

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭

    The oil lamps look very decorative too!

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,633 admin

    @vickeym I agree that the Aladdin puts out better light. My doesn't smoke but I really like it for outside. Works much better than the cheaper models.

  • Suburban Pioneer
    Suburban Pioneer Posts: 339 ✭✭✭

    We just got an Ooni dual fuel (wood and propane) pizza oven as a great cooking source for pizza, bread and "skillet foods" during normal times and a neat, classy, quick-cooking, fuel-sipping emergency cooker for temporary or longer-term outages. It heats up to 900 degrees so it quick-cooks foods, which would be handy if things get bad.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,633 admin

    @Suburban Pioneer I'd never heard of these so had to google it. They are pretty neat units.

  • Dbrower
    Dbrower Posts: 4

    In addition to the many great items mentioned by others, I'd include a good quality water filtration kit. If power is out and water isn't running, water can be collected from streams, rainwater, etc. and filtered for drinking, cooking, and bathing. I have a Sawyer bucket filtration kit in my supplies and also have a Lifestraw personal filter for each family member. Both companies offer lots of choices for individual, family, and community filtration. Check the product specs to determine the best choice for filtering the most water contaminates. Although I'm not normally a proponent of using chlorine bleach, 16 drops of unscented bleach per gallon of water can be used to treat water for drinking or 9 parts water to one part bleach as a disinfectant.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Sawyer Squeeze and Katadyn filters are very popular with backpackers, and either would work well in this application unless your water is contaminated from mining or industry.

  • Dbrower
    Dbrower Posts: 4

    My basic kit includes:

    • Water, one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation
    • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
    • Prescription Medications
    • Money including change
    • Important Family Documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account information in a waterproof, portable container (see sources below)
    • Battery-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, and extra batteries for both
    • Flashlight and extra batteries, portable lights
    • First Aid kit
    • Whistle to signal for help
    • Moist towelettes, garbage bags
    • Disinfectant*
    • *Household chlorine bleach - You can use bleach as a disinfectant (diluted nine parts water to one part bleach), or in an emergency you can also use it to treat water. Use 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
    • Dust mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
    • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
    • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
    • Gorrilla/Duct tape or other strong, waterproof tape
    • Knife, scissors
    • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
    • Water filter
    • Copies of important family documents stored in a waterproof, portable container (identification, medical information, banking and insurance information, emergency and family contacts)
    • One complete change of clothing and shoes per person (in cold weather climates include a jacket/coat, hat & gloves) and rain gear.

    Other items to consider:

    • Sleeping bags, blankets
    • Portable cook stove
    • Larger water filtration kit
    • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils
    • Paper towels
    • Fire Extinguisher
    • Tent
    • Compass
    • Matches in a waterproof container
    • Signal flare
    • Paper, pencil
    • Personal hygiene items including feminine supplies
    • Medicine dropper
    • Books, games, puzzles, playing cards
    • Local/other maps
    • Cell phone, computers, charging cords and plugs, solar chargers
    • Emergency reference materials such as first aid book, list of shelters,

    Food ideas, stored in portable, waterproof container:

    • Dried beans, lentils, (can be sprouted and eaten cooked or raw)
    • White rice (it keeps longer than brown rice
    • Grains & seeds (quinoa, millet, buckweat, amaranth, oats, sunflower)
    • Dried Potatoes
    • Dried Milk
    • Herbs/Spices (salt, pepper, creole/chili seasoning, parsley, oregano, dried onions/garlic, mustard powder, other spices you like)
    • Sugar/Honey
    • Cooking oil
    • Dried foods
    • Coffee
    • Canned foods/meats

    If possible, have a planned meetup location (with a 2nd backup location) and designated contact person(s) for family members who might be in different locations during the emergency.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    All good advice. 72 hours of food is an absolute minimum; I suggest at least two weeks.

  • Dbrower
    Dbrower Posts: 4

    Search for open shelters by texting SHELTER and a Zip Code to 43362 (4FEMA). Example: Shelter 12345

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,633 admin

    Welcome to TGN's forum @Dbrower. Great discussion to jump into.

    Because of where I live, I never think about water filters. But this is a really good idea for most areas.

    Another suggestion for purifying water is iodine. 5 drops (2% iodine tincture) per quart of water. So really easy to add to a drink bottle. Wait 30 minutes before drinking. Multi purpose, too, as it can be used to clean minor (not major or deep) wounds. Don't use iodine if pregnant or if you have a thyroid issue.

    Both chlorine and iodine are effective at eliminating bacteria and virus', however, they don't work for the parasite cryptosporidium and have a low effectiveness for giardia. I see iodine is going to be banned in EU countries soon. Not quite sure what the reasoning is behind this.

    There is a UV "pen" type water treatment but it only works on clear, not cloudy water. And the recommendation is to follow with chlorine or iodine.

    Depending on where you are, and the contaminants in the area, you may need to both filter and disinfect your water.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Actually, I've read that chlorine dioxide is effective against cryptosporidium, but it requires hours after the treatment is applied.

    So chlorine dioxide will be effective against giardia in less than an hour, but for cryptosporidium, you may need to let it sit overnight.

    I think the new regulations against iodine are based on it causing health issues among some people, especially in high doses. I have not read anything that makes me think it is not effective against giardia or viruses, or not safe, if used correctly.

    Filters are much faster, and effective against all protozoans and bacteria, but not against viruses.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Shelters should be an absolute last resort. Make plans ahead of time to be as independent as possible in an emergency.

    In most cases, you will be better off remaining at your well-stocked home.

    In the minority of cases where flooding or other issues force you to leave your home, a well-stocked vehicle can get you completely out of the danger area, where you can stay with friends or relatives, get a motel, or camp. This type of emergency usually only affects a single region.

    The wider the area affected by a disaster, the better off you are figuring out how to stay home.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,277 ✭✭✭✭

    I have many of the items listed above in at least two emergency bags and can only lift 10 pounds. Are there any suggestions for other ways for me to carry other items. I thought about wrapping or making a bag to go around my knees or ankles. What do you think? Would it work?

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,633 admin

    @dipat2005 There are "cargo" pants that you can get that have large pockets along the upper legs. I have a pair that has a pocket on each leg, two back pockets and two deep slash pockets. You can get an amazing amount of "stuff" in these pockets.

    There are utility belts that can have as many pockets or pouches added as you like.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,633 admin

    I was using information from two Canadian provincial health departments, the US CDC site for water safety and the following studies when I made the comments about chlorine (bleach) and iodine not being recommended for eliminating certain parasites. I should have made the distinction between chlorine bleach which is sodium hypochlorite and chlorine dioxide. Chlorine dioxide is effective at killing parasites.




    Everyone should be aware of the risks of contaminants for where you live or where you may be hiking and be prepared to deal with those specific risks.

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you all so much! This list is coming along great (and expanded to all emergencies 😀). I have read that ground up moringa seeds are also good at cleaning water.

  • water2world
    water2world Posts: 1,156 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2021

    These are all great ideas— some I had not thought of. Guess I should not be putting it off, but get started now!

    thanks for posting!