A power outage didn’t used to be an unusual occurrence. The likelihood of them becoming common again is therefore quite high. There can be various reasons for a power outage. We are going to look at the contents for a black out box. Lot’s of people ask ‘how do I prepare for a Power outage?’ So I hope to have a few answers starting from today…
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How do I prepare for a power outage?
Right now, this minute find out who your electricity distributor is. They are different to your supplier. For want of a better description they are who your supplier buys the electricity from. Have a look at Ofgem.gov.uk for a full map of the UK and who is your distributor. Then find the emergency contact details for them. This way you will be able to know if it is a bigger issue or a local issue which can be fixed to a certain timescale. The phone number or website on a piece of paper are your first item to add to a Black-Out Box!
Ok, I am a nervous nelly but please ensure that you have working smoke detectors. Ones which are hard wired as well as with a battery back up will be invaluable during any power outage where you intend to introduce new fire risks to the home….see below!
Look out for each other
Ok I need to write a quick disclaimer here. Our neighbours are lovely and in no way shape or form incapable. However, when a power outage comes I will be checking on them as they have mobility issues and if it lasts for a long time I am worried about their health. They know this and it has helped us to at least identify who will be looking after who! If I don’t look after them, then where will I get my everlasting supply of bamboo canes from? If anyone in the house has any medical needs which require electrical equipment, make sure you let the supplier know. They will prioritise you in times of need.
What can I do in my home during a power outage?
Poke your head out of the front door to see if your neighbours are lit up. Lucky you if you have no neighbours. If they are lit up and you are not. The most likely option is a tripped fuse. So you can narrow it down to plugging a new piece of equipment in which has caused it to trip. Remove the equipment and flip the switch back. Personally, I would then investigate, however I am a qualified electrician by trade! So instead, get one in at a later date. The fuse trips to protect the circuit so do not ignore it forever!
The whole street is in the dark
Now you can dig into your Power Outage Box. I have ours in the lounge. Realistically if we have a power outage when I am in the bedroom, I won’t notice until daylight the next day. The most likely place for us to be is the kitchen or lounge. So..
How do you survive a blackout?
2-3 hours without power –
In your box for immediate use you will need a
LED head Torch because I personally like to be hands free. I also like to have light in the middle of the room so I have packed a
Wind up torch - USB Charging Function . Do go for one with a USB port as that way you will have a charged phone when needed.
Some people like to have candles and matches, but this introduces fire to your home. If you have pets or children, this is ok for a controlled environment but you are in an emergency situation with a power cut. So go for battery powered!!
I would also include any medical devices like an inhaler, make sure it is a full one.
More than 24 hours…
This will not be needed in your power outage box, but somewhere not too far where you can find it when daylight returns. I have a page for How to Keep Warm in Winter which includes lots of ways to heat up without power.
My husband has asked that I include night vision goggles in ours, his request has been duly considered and denied.
- contact for your electrical and gas distributor
- head lamp
- led lantern
- suitable batteries
- candles and matches – if you have no children and or pets!!
- first aid or medical aids
Put other essentials to one side. I love to have my emergency chocolate hob nobs to hand at all times. I find that our log burner is fab because the same pans we use for camping can actually be used for making a cuppa in a power cut. Don’t forget to add something else for entertainment as we don’t want a black out baby boom!
You will still be able to use the water coming in to your property, but when it is extremely cold outside you may need to insulate pipes against freezing.
Please let us know how you get on. Good luck with it and get stuck in today!