Preparing your family for a power outage does not need to be expensive. Just by thinking ahead, you will be surprised what you can find at sales and re-sale shops – or even in hand-me-downs!
- Clothing. Keep an eye out for blue jeans, t-shirts, sweatshirts, shoes and socks. None of these has to fit well – go large – or be pretty. Just sturdy and serviceable.
- Buckets – especially 5-gallon buckets. These can be used for so many things: toilets, water, washing clothes, washing dishes . . .
- Rags. Pick up anything that can be used as rags. This might include t-shirts with holes in them, well-worn sheets and pillow cases, cloth diapers and thin towels.
- Blankets. Any blanket that will provide warmth or can be used to sleep on outside is serviceable. It does not have to be free from tears, pretty, or even still thick. Blankets can be layered if they are too thin.
- Cloth diapers and plastic covers. Even if you do not use cloth diapers now, in a power outages that lasts longer than your supply of disposables, you will be glad you have them. If you do not currently have a child in diapers, it is possible a child could be stranded with you. Remember – being prepared equals being more comfortable!
- Books and Board Games. After a few hours of no electricity, the novelty wears off. But if you have a stash of good books and games, you can keep the fun going for the duration. Get books at all reading levels, and get books that make good overall read-alouds. When purchasing games, do not get anything that requires batteries! Unless you want to stock up on batteries . . .
- Kerosene lamps. Very nice to have in the dark evenings. It is very hard to read or play board games without light!
- Canning Jars. Half-pint jars are perfect, absolutely perfect, for safely carrying votive candles around the house. Even little children can manage them without danger. Quart jars are good for storing drinking water.
- Denim Jeans. Storing a supply of denim is more important for a long-term outage, so long that you need to make blankets. Even if you do not quilt or sew, it is easy to cut squares of denim and sew them together by hand into a blanket. What would be more durable and versatile than a denim blanket? If you do not have batting material and need a thicker blanket, just tie two (or three!) together with yarn.
- Bungee cords and tarps. You can never have too many! The things you might find to use these for are endless.
- Gas Storage Cans. Gas is difficult to store, but if you have a generator, you are going to need fuel. Why buy new? But do be sure used fuel cans are safe.
- Craft Supplies. A menagerie of assorted bits of craft supplies can keep children, and restless adults, busy for hours. There is nothing like no electricity to bring out our creative sides!
The key to making any stressful situation more bearable is preparation. Plan ahead for a major power outage, and you will find you get through better than you thought possible.