Monday, July 25, 2022

Must stop dithering - emergency supplies


I’ve been having difficulty focusing my emergency prep and taking action to buy supplies. Then we had yet another power outage which showed I need to replace two more emergency plug in lights and get on with buying more emergency supplies. 

I had a chat with my older son and decided to focus on power outage prep first. 

Power outages likely will occur in tandem with wildfires or earthquakes as well as "just because" so it is one aspect of sheltering in place emergency prep anyway. 

For planning purposes I'm thinking this could reasonably last several days under a not major earthquake or fire destruction scenario. Comfort and necessities as much as possible during the event is the goal. As always, it helps to break an overwhelming goal into small well defined projects.

So what do you lose when a power outage lasts a few day? Light, heating or cooling, cooking and food preservation capability, hot water for hygiene (and perhaps water itself), ability to charge devices and thus communicate and access the internet, access to money via ATMs and ability to charge or debit purchases, and perhaps more. A long power outage is a whole different scenario that I’m not even contemplating preparing for.

I'm using a power outage checklist I found online and adapted to our climate (S. Cal) and 2 people plus a dog in an all electric home. 


  • Three-day supply of drinking water (have 7 days minimum survival water plus water heater contents)
  • Non-perishable food that is easy to prepare (canned, boxed, dried, etc.) and a manual can opener
  • First aid kit/supplies and medications
  • Extra blankets and warm clothing, including a hat
  • Watch and phones but no means to charge them
  • Pet food and water
  • Cash
  • Garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation if needed
  • A battery operated lantern and plug in emergency lights. Need to check battery supply annually.
  • Radio, battery-powered or hand-crank - check ones we own to see if they can use batteries and, if so, keep batteries in stock
  • Personal Cleanliness supplies like moist towelettes, etc. for personal sanitation
  • Staying Cool - buy hand held fans and remember to use wet neck cloths to help cool body
  • Two solar lanterns with one capable of charging devices or a separate solar charger and one lantern
  • Two headlamps with batteries for hands free activities 
  • Single burner propane stove & lighter to use outdoors (we do not have a gas stove we could light or a grill or camping stove)
  • Funnel for draining water heater into containers
  • Large well sealing ice chest to preserve perishable food

Per a request here are some of the products we are buying

Gas ONE Butane Gas Stove with 4 Butane Fuel Canister Cartridge (Amazon)

Black Diamond Equipment - Spot 350 Headlamp - Azul (Amazon)

Energizer Rechargeable Emergency LED Flashlight, Plug-In Power Outage Light, 25 Lumens (Amazon)

LuminAID PackLite Nova USB Solar Lantern (REI)

LuminAID PackLite Max 2-in-1 Power Lantern (REI)


  1. Power outages are a real possibility this summer all across the country. Thanks for the reminder than I need to check my supplies. We do have a generator here that runs one plug in our apartments so we'd have a way to power up our phones, etc. but I have no idea how long that's good for.

  2. I have added a few things to my list for tomorrows shopping trip. Thanks for giving me ideas for a few new items.

    God bless.

  3. Very good list. Our power was out for days a couple of winters ago in the massive Texas power grid failure (and water was out for a week or so, we have a well, and needed a plumber to get it back up and working and they had waiting lists weeks long). We recharged phones by running our car, not optimal choice, but since the heat was out in the house we almost fought over who got to go sit in the car to charge phones (and run the car heater).

    I saw just this past week a new rechargeable light bulb that fits in a regular lamp and if power goes out it will retain about 6 hour charge (I believe), and can even be unscrewed from the lamp to carry with you as a portable light source.

    1. That light bulb sounds really interesting - thanks.


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