Preparing For An Emergency At Home

PHOTOS: Thunderstorms roll through Western Washington - (17/33)

  • Extra batteries, candles, and matches
  • Bottled water – gallon jugs are great and less expensive than individual bottles
  • Buckets – collect rain water for non-drinking water (flushing toilets if you’re on a well with a pump)
  • Dry ice – stock up as soon as the power goes out to keep your items cold
  • Battery pack charger for cell phones and other small devices
  • Snacks and food that doesn’t require prep or refrigeration
  • Propane – you can still grill when the power is out
  • Board games, playing cards, and books – you’ll need entertainment that doesn’t require electricity
  • Back-up generator – it most likely won’t run your entire home, but it’ll help keep a few things going

Things to Know:

  • Items in your refrigerator will last 5-6 hours without power. But you need to make sure you stay out of the fridge. Each time you open it, the cold air escapes, and your items have a shorter shelf life.
  • A full freezer will keep things frozen for about 48 hours. If it’s not full, that time goes down to 24 hours. So a full freezer is a good thing in case of a power outage. Ice cream bars DO NOT abide by this timeline … so put on some stretchy pants.
  • Cell coverage may be spotty or slow during a power outage since people will be relying on their data plans instead of wifi. If you need to get online, you will need extra patience.
  • Local hotels can be a great back-up plan in case of an extended power outage. We ended up staying at Home2 Suites by Hilton. Each room has a kitchenette with a refrigerator, and they are pet friendly, which is great for us. Because we were local and without power, we got a great rate. It never hurts to ask for help!
  • Have a plan. Communication in any relationship is key, but especially in an emergency. Thankfully my husband and I were both home when the power went out, so we could figure out what needed to be done. But that won’t always be the case. Now we have a solid plan of who will do what, when, and where.

What I learned the most during the fiasco was that we have it really good and we take a lot of conveniences for granted. Next time I will be better prepared with knowledge and pantry items, but more importantly, I’ll be armed with a better attitude and a sense of adventure.


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