A short term power outage may mean you will have to make use of your flashlight to help you find your way around the house at night time, or throw out a few jugs of milk that spoiled in the fridge. It’s an event that is inconvenient, but the majority of people can cope without power for a few hours, even a day, but what happens if the power didn’t come back on? This power outage checklist will cover everything you need to survive a long term blackout.
A long term grid down situation could be life-threatening to many who are not prepared. Experts advise everyone to prepare for a grid down event that might leave you without power for an extended period of time.
When the Grid Goes Down
Imaging there is a cyber attack, just like in the National Geographic documentary, and the power grid is down for 10 days. Stores are looted, people are rioting, food and water is in very short supply, and high demand. It has come without warning. Do you have the gear to survive? Would you need to bug out, or can you bug in? Can you protect your home? Do you have torches, batteries, candles and a gas stove to cook on? If not, then you are not prepared for a grid down situation, and should seriously consider doing something about it.
The UK and USA power grids are very vulnerable, and this has been pointed out by a number of important people!
I am going to cover in this power outage checklist, the things that you will need to make it through a grid down situation, and how you can generate electric using your car if you don’t have a generator.
Before I get into the power outage checklist, there are a few things you need to think about.
- What is your climate (cold, warm…)
- How will you cook
- Where will you get water
- How will you see in the dark
- Can you get information via the radio?
- Waste removal services will be down, can you cope?
- How will you flush the toilet?
So, lets take a look at the blackout checklist, and what items you should have in your preps to cope with a blackout.
Having power is essential in a grid down situation. You need it to charge batteries, torches and phones, amongst other things.
- USB Power Bank
- Solar USB Charger
- 1000w 12 volt Inverter or generator (This can be used to power your home with your car)
- Spare batteries
Ideally you want to have enough food to last you for 2 weeks, but more is better.
- Canned meat
- Canned fruit
- Granola Bars
- Energy bars
- Tea Bags
- Powdered Milk
Having a supply of clean drinking water is essential. Make sure you have at least a weeks worth of water, 2 weeks would be better. You need roughly 2-3 litres of water per day, including for cooking.
- Tip: Use old plastic or glass bottles to store water from your tap
- In the event of a grid down, fill you bath, sinks, pots… everything you can with water
- Having a LifeStraw or other means of water filtration is a good idea
- You can collect rain water using food grade 220L drums
- If you have a source of water nearby, such as a river, stream or lake, make sure to filter and purify the water before drinking it
You may already use gas too cook on, if so, you might not have to worry so much about this section.
- Gas camping stove (make sure you use it in a well ventilated area)
- Spare gas cans
- Water for cooking
Being able to see in the dark is a must, especially when on the look out for intruders. Grab the best light you can afford, and make sure you have spare batteries, or a way to charge it up.
If the grid goes down in the middle of winter, you may find you get very cold without heating if you don’t have a fireplace in your house.
If you live in a densely populated area, you may want to have a bug out plan and location. Looting and rioting will be happening in large urban areas, and so it may be wise to bug out in this event.
- Planned escape route
- Bug out location
- Bug out bag
News and Communication
A vital part of this blackout checklist is communications. You will need a way to stay connected to the outside world during a blackout to receive updates on when power might be restored.
- Wind up radio
- Walkie talkies for family communication
Using the Toilet
During a grid down, your toilet may fail to flush as water is not being pumped anymore. There are a few things you can have around the house to flush your toilet without power.
- 5 gallon bucket for throwing water down the toilet, or going to the toilet in
- Saw dust
With looting and rioting becoming the norm, you may need to take extra measures to ensure your families safety. If it is legal where you live, buy a gun. Remember, know the gun laws in your area!
- Survival Knife
First Aid Kit
Accidents happen, and when the grid is down, hospitals will not be taking in new patients unless they are in a life threatening condition. Have a well stocked first aid kit. I always recommend that you make your own first aid kit.
- Medical Gauze
- Diarrhoea tablets
- Medical Tape
- Pain Killers
This article has covered all the essentials of surviving a power outage. If you have anything more to add to this blackout checklist, leave a comment below!