Here in the US we have a very reliable energy grid system and we are confident that when you flip the light switch, the lights will come on. But from time to time severe weather can have an effect on the power delivery to our homes. It might be due to trees or tree limbs taking down power lines, lighting striking transformers or ice storms breaking wires. Most of these are relatively short-term events that are quickly repaired by local utility companies and are merely an inconvenience at best.
Loosely defined a Blackout Kit is a collection of supplies to help you deal with an emergency situation of loss of power in your home. They are commonly referred to as Blackout Kits because you are most likely to need one, well, in a blackout. It should be stored in a box, bag, bucket or kit and kept in a central location that everyone in the house knows where it is and can be easily retrieved.
There are a number of ready-made kits available in the market place from different suppliers that fill the bill just fine if you would rather go that route. Click here to see a link to one that we carry in our store.We chose to build our own to our specific needs and price point.
First, each bedroom should have an inexpensive but reliable flashlight available close to the bed and they are handy to have even when the power is not out. A flashlight like this one on Amazon is another good option as well. It stays plugged into an outlet to keep it charged and when to power goes off it comes on so you can locate it easily.
So what sort of supplies should you have on hand to deal with a short-term power outage? For a basic, inexpensive list we have the following in ours.
- Two small battery powered LED lanterns
- Two small battery powered LED flashlights
- Two LED Head lamps
- Extra batteries for all lights
- Glow Sticks
- Candles and matches
- Wind up / battery powered AM / FM Radio
- 2 Survival Bivy sleeping bags, (since there are only my wife and I, add more if your house hold is bigger).
- Small basic first aid kit
- Small ABC Fire extinguisher
- Deck of cards
That about sums it up for our basic Blackout kit… and it actually gets used a couple of times a year here in our middle Tennessee home. I will follow up with a more extensive list of items for a longer-term blackout, (like we had in Louisiana after Katrina, three weeks without electricity from the utility Company), in a future post.
I guess it should be said too that it’s a good idea to check the contents and refresh the batteries several times a year so it works when you need it to. We check ours twice a year when the time changes over to or from daylight savings time.