Everyone knows the basic items to store in case of a power outage: food, water, batteries, a can opener, candles, matches, and a few good books. These items are great, but stashing the following items will make your life easier next time the power goes out.
An atmospheric water generator
You’ve probably got food and water storage for the next power outage, but those supplies won’t last forever. If you end up experiencing an extended power outage, you’ll need a higher proportion of water compared to food.
If you run out of stored water, an atmospheric water generator will save the day. An atmospheric water generator is essentially a dehumidifier that distills and filters the water it collects from the atmosphere. These devices can be small enough to place on a countertop, or as large as a couple of refrigerators. Larger devices are capable of producing more water throughout the day, but the yield will ultimately be determined by the amount of humidity in the air.
If you can’t afford to buy an atmospheric water generator, there are plenty of DIY ways to collect condensation from the air. Or, you can use this method to create a more elaborate method using coils of copper.
A home security system that works off the electric grid
Traditionally, home security systems are hard-wired into the home’s electrical system. Although home security systems should have backup battery power, not all do. A home security system that doesn’t run on backup battery power will leave you vulnerable in a power outage.
A study performed by the National Institute of Justice found that 90% of burglars said they’d target a different house if they saw a security system. However, in a neighborhood power outage, some burglars might be willing to take that risk, thinking the system is offline.
Check with the manufacturer of your home security system to see if there’s a backup power source. Then, test it. Turn off the breakers to your home and see if your security system stays on. If it doesn’t work, upgrade your system as soon as possible.
A power bank for your router
If you work online, you’ll need internet access in a power outage. Just because the power goes out doesn’t mean your internet is out, too. A small, lightweight power bank will get you back online at least long enough to tell your clients and coworkers you’re going to be offline for a while.
You can also use a power bank to connect to the internet long enough to gather the information necessary to continue working offline. Then, use the rest of the charge to keep your laptop powered up.
A Sherpa blanket
When the power goes out, so does your central heat and all portable heaters. If the power goes out when it’s cold, you’ll need a Sherpa blanket to keep warm. Sherpa is basically fluffy fleece that retains a large amount of body heat and reflects it back to you.
If you bought a Snuggie back in the 90s and think you’re set, think again. Ditch the Snuggie and get The Comfy instead. It’s literally a wearable Sherpa blanket with a hood and a sweatshirt pocket in the front. It’s warmer than the Snuggie, and you won’t feel like you’re wearing a bathrobe.
A battery powered boombox + CDs
You can only play music on your smartphone or iPod for so long before the battery dies.
To keep the tunes going in a power outage, buy some CDs or burn your own mixes and stash them away with a battery-powered boombox. Just don’t forget to buy extra batteries!
A landline telephone that plugs into the wall
If you already have a landline through the phone company, make sure to keep a standard analog phone on hand for emergencies. In a power outage, a portable digital phone won’t work if the battery is dead.
If you’ve subscribed to a digital phone service through your cable TV and internet provider, when the power goes out you won’t be able to use a regular landline phone. Consider adding a separate landline service directly through the phone company.
What do you find fun and entertaining?
Stash away anything you think will make a power outage fun like games, candy, books, and toys. Anything you think will help you pass the time is an essential part of your “power outage” kit.