When winter storms sweep the country, they often bring power outages in their wake. Fortunately, power outages are not overly difficult to be prepared for.
A supply of food, water, and off-grid cooking appliances is a good start, along with some backup power options, but there are more items that make surviving a winter power outage more bearable.
I have compiled a list of eight items you need to survive a winter power outage.
Winter storms don’t just knock out the power; they often bring flooding and large volumes of standing water that we may want to move.
It is possible that during or after a winter storm, you could wake up to a flooded basement or crawlspace.
A water pump is essential if you live in areas prone to flooding or near lakes, rivers, or creeks.
Even clogged storm drains could cause large pools of standing water that could need some redirecting.
Any water pump you get should be gas, diesel, or hand-operated, not electric.
Being prepared means, we must be ready to be on our own for at least several weeks.
Suppose there are any medications that you need to take regularly to maintain your health. In that case, you must have several weeks of prescription medications on hand at all times.
⇒ 10 Medical Supplies You Need To Stockpile Before It’s Too Late
Over-the-counter medications are also essential to keep a good stockpile on hand. The middle of a winter blackout is not the time to run out to buy some children’s Advil.
We have an unhealthy reliance on credit and debit transactions to buy our daily essentials. No power means no credit or debit, making cash the only way to buy or sell.
A short-term power outage is no time to dip into your long-term food stores, especially when society is still very much intact and retailers would still like to be open for business.
You don’t need to have large quantities of cash stuffed in mattresses; a few hundred dollars will allow you to get a few groceries even if the power is out.
Don’t keep a wad of fifties and hundreds; your cash reserve should be made up from smaller bills.
The largest denomination should be $20, and you should have a good supply of tens, fives, and ones because when you’re out shopping, the local retailers will prefer not to have to make change.
Hot Drinks And A Way To Prepare Them
Most of us start our day with a hot cup of coffee or tea.
The problem is that we are slaves to modern convenience, and in a lot, of cases, coffee comes from a machine that uses single-use pods.
Related: 7 DIY Stoves You Can Build When SHTF
So if you want that caffeine fix, you’ll have to plan to either have a power source for your modern coffee makers or an off-grid method such as pour-over or a percolator that you can use on a camp stove.
I like to ensure I have a good supply of coffee, tea, and hot chocolate to keep warm during dark, cold, powerless winter nights.
Tarps, Tape, Staple Gun, And Plywood
A power outage caused by a winter storm may also leave holes in your home that need plugging.
Heavy-duty tarps can be stapled over broken windows, draped over roof damage, or wrapped around areas where siding has been blown away or ripped up.
You can also use these items to block any drafts that you discover as the power outage takes away the use of your home’s heating system.
Some cans of spray foam are also good to have available to plug any gaps that you may find.
I am guilty of an overreliance on power tools as much as the next guy.
However, I still have a manual option for many of these power tools ready to go if I do not have access to grid power.
A winter storm may result in damage that you will need to use tools to repair.
Related: 18 Vintage Homesteading Tools to Search for at Garage Sales
Especially if the power outage lasts for an extended period, we may find ourselves in a situation where we do not want to use our emergency power to run tools or charge cordless tool batteries.
Claw hammers, screwdrivers, handsaws, bucksaws, hand drills, hand planes, wood chisels, etc., are all important components of your off-grid tool kit.
Flashlights, lanterns, and headlamps are vital components of a blackout kit, but another item to add is glow sticks. They produce light for hours and do not take batteries or emit fumes.
The only issue with glow sticks is that they can not be turned off; once they go out, they are garbage.
You can use glowsticks as a light source, but they are well suited to mark obstacles in the dark.
Related: 7 DIY Projects To Have Ready When The Lights Go Out
The local dollar store will often have inexpensive glowsticks in various sizes that you can deploy for multiple uses.
For example, smaller glowsticks can be hung off obstacles that people may encounter in the dark of night
You can also use them as night lights since they give off a soft glow rather than a harsh beam.
The lack of electricity will shorten the list of entertainment options we would often turn to.
Whether we have backup power, using our emergency power options to run a TV, DVD player, or gaming console borders on ridiculous.
When Mother Nature decides we should be denied power for a while, we must find off-grid ways to combat boredom.
A healthy selection of board games will keep your family occupied during the dark winter nights. Even a deck of cards will provide hours of entertainment.
A book of rules for card games is also good to have because the internet may not be working during a severe blackout.
Preparing for a winter blackout is not a difficult task. Of all the emergencies we get ready for, a basic short-term blackout is probably the most likely to occur, especially in winter.
The good news is if you are ready for most emergencies, you are also prepared for a blackout.
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Best U.S. States To Forage For Food
FYI to any senior citizens that may be interested.
Medicare is now paying for the two dose Shingles Vaccination.
The shots are 2-4 months apart.The cost is $600.00+ for folks
not on Medicare. Shots are available at county health dept.
I’ve heard that no one should take any vaxx until this covid vaxx is cleared up. They, supposedly, have put the same al. and poisons in the flu and shingles shots. do not take any more at this time…and beware of the flouride and chlorine in the water. Toxins all.
That’s hilarious. Self-elimination leaves more for the rest of us.
Darwin, take the wheel.
Sorry, heard of a massive reaction to the shingle vac. Think carefully about them.
I have 4 friends who had very bad reactions to the Shingles vax. Injection site was very swollen , about 2/3 of the arm turned black and blue. Very painful experience. I know others who mild reactions. I never had Chixpox, won’t be getting that shot.
SMH. I’ll get through the shingles and live. Not interested.
True. Friend of mine did. It went over his left eye, and he still doesn’t see very well out of it a decade later, even with glasses.
As a veteran 37 year RN, I told my friends when this vaccine hit the market,”DON’T TAKE IT” it had very little research…a baby step more than the killer vaccine for cov-Id. None of my 5 closest friends had ever had shingles,nor had I. 2 of these ninnies listened to the commercials instead of me. Guess who has developed shingles??? The 2 dumb arses.
Please people,don’t jump on a bandwagon just because some actor tells you how wonderful it is. 95% of those actors would never take the vaccine themselves.
I had shingles and lived through it. The dr. told me to take All Bee with C. That’s all the b vitamins with vitamin c added. Don’t know if they still call it that, but b vitamins should prevent anything like shingles from happening.
you can have mine
Take your vax and shove it, all vaxes and most all meds are not good for people
Wake up , moron
No! Do NOT take this bioweapon, readers, and don’t test for Covid. The tests are a lie, too. I’m fact, take NO vaccines, as they want to add mRNA to vaccines such as flu, shingles, etc. There is a TON of proof about all of this and also that the vaccines are a death jab and meant only to depopulate. The head of Pfizer, Fauci, and many in our government(s) have not taken these jabs they are pushing on us! Don’t believe them for half a second. Do your homework! They are using Hydroxychloroquine, Ivermectin, C, D, Zinc, etc. want proof? Go to DailyClout.io to see their ongoing findings on the 75,000 pages Pfizer was forced to provide. It’s info Pfizer and the FDA/CDC wanted to hide for 75 years, but a brave judge said NO.
Nobody wants your garbage vax
Hell no! Little doubt if they aren’t adding the clot shot to shingles vax, they will be doing it! I will never take another “shot” again in my life!
Good article with valuable information.Don’t forget Twinkies.
I prefer Little Debbie Ho Ho’s. Ive got my stash.
Pretty good list. I would put more emphasis on conserving heat, heavy coats, extra blankets, ways to isolate a part of the house. The last two sentences are very true.
What else is missing and needs to be added to the list are a few more things, like the pink antifreeze, that are needed to shut off the water to prevent burst pipes.
Knowing how to drain your pipes and the electric-gas in your home is useful.
Most homes have the water heater near the lowest part of the home and a garden hose and or pump can help you drain the whole system.
One neighbor uses compressed air to blow out the leftover water.
Replacing plumbing and the damage from thawed broken pipes is harsh.
How would you get the antifreeze completely through your plumbing?
turn off the electric and gas lines. Sorry poorly written.
ESPECIALLY the Twinkies!!!!!
We have a well with an electric pump. Any suggestions how to get the water out if no electricity?
Hand pump. Not easy I’m told. I found one a child can operate but it’s about a grand to buy. I’m currently looking to buy one for our well also.
Lots of options for hand pumps on Amazon.
I think I’d find a better quality one, but should be an easy google search. Plus it’s going to be a learning curve to figure out how to sub that in for your electric pump, I would think YouTube would be a good place to start.
I’ve got two ponds that would be our water source here in Louisiana. But both are about 400 and 600 feet away, respectively. Moving that water column has been a research project for me to size out a hand pump. Right now I’ll take the side-by-side to the ponds and fill up tanks.
You’re going to want to get a generator or plan to construct a wind powered pump
Store ahead. We always use 5 gallon buckets w lids. They stack well and be sure to purchase food grade if your drinking. Any water will flush a toilet, essential!!!
3 to 5 gallons per day is the standard
If you don’t have it add a cistern next to the well. Gravity will take care of the rest. Might have to use a bucket but it’s better than no water at all. A small solar generator will also supply the electricity if you don’t want to use a bucket.
I have a 100 watt solar panel and a 12 volt water pump similar to the water pumps that are in travel trailers – except that it will pump water that is 60 feet down in a well. (Some 12 volt pumps will work on a 200 foot rise.) I have a nylon rope and 70 feet of 1/2 inch pvc tubing attached to a metal strainer head and a 4 pound weight to keep the hose & strainer under water in my well. When I want to use the system I take it out of my EMP storage shed, and set up at the well which is 100 feet from my house. At the house I have two 80 gallon fiberglass storage tanks with radiator type air release valves at the top of each storage tank.plumbed into my water system. At the well I set up the solar panel which I hook to a 12 volt car battery. I do not need a voltage regulator between the solar panel because the 12 volt water pump is 12/24 volts and will not be damaged by the 15 to 18 volts that normally come out of a 100 watt panel on sunny days. Anyway, the 12 volt car battery is hooked to the RV water pump. Next I hook 100 feet of drinking water hose to my outside water spigot, turn on the RV water pump and let it prime itself , once primed I hook up the hose to the house. Once my two 80 gallon water storage tanks are full, I unhook the system till I need another fill-up. I have to carry water up from the basement in pails to flush the toilets and for cooking. I could set up another 12 volt pump to move water around inside the house if I chose to. I have used this back-up water system for 20 years whenever there was a power outage – both in summer and winter here in western NY state.
I don’t have a well, groundwater in most of Texas requires 600′ plus and it’s over 10,000.00 imaginary US Dollars to go that deep. The little 12v submersible well pumps they make these days do intrigue me. I just looked up specs on one that sells for 150.00 and claims 230′ lift, surprised it only pulls 10 Amps which makes it perfect for a solar well where groundwater can be had at lesser depths. And you could use it to distribute water from above ground storage. And you’ve been doing it for 20 years, pretty smart.
add solar kit with battery backup or as stated by other hand pump.
Solar after you convert the well
I would note that both the glow sticks and the spray foam insulation have very short lives. Glow sticks are chemical history after a year. The spray foam deteriorates in the can in not much longer. Great list, though, thanks!
Well, if that goon govenor in Texas cared about the people as much as he does his crippled self, they wouldn’t have to worry about power putages.
Wow Lisa! You must be hanging out with Hunter. Pretty cruel comment 👿
The Texas Gov is whacked as are many many right wingers. Apparently to you people destroying the government is a good idea.
Yeah, because one man is the only person responsible for the grid. Grow up or go cry to mommy you worthless parasitic Democrat. Signed – not dumb enough to belong to a political party.
I often disagree with Gov. Abbott but have a hell of a lot of respect for the way he has lived his life.
We partied all through the Great Texas Grid Fail because we were prepared with propane, charcoal, firewood, LED lanterns, several gallons of vodka and a bunch of frozen steaks and seafood. Around 300 Texans died from CO, electrocution, and freezing to death, go figure.
A friend of mine had a shingles outbreak, it looked like someone took a blowtorch to his back, and it took weeks to heal up. I’m not an anti-vaxxer but truth about Shingles vax is it is only 50% effective, so I’ve never been motivated to get it.
We get it Lisa you prefer a beta male with his man bun
I think the most obvious thing missing is batteries and torches/lanterns/head torches. Much more effective than glow sticks, and reusable.
Everyone needs a radio. Battery powered or hand cranked. I agree with the comment regarding oil lamps and candles (unscented). We put a wood stove in last fall. So glad we did. We also have one in the garage. If we have to live in the garage we have heat.
A Xbox would be great
I much prefer Luci lights to glow sticks. They are reusable, provide light, are lightweight, and easy to use.
For activities, I’d also say knowing how to play acoustic musical instruments is a plus. If you have a few musicians in the house you can work on arrangements or playing harmonies.
Maybe not necessary but nice to have is a solar shower. You can heat up some water and mix with cold water in the solar shower bag. It’s especially nice if you’ve been shovelling out and find yourself getting chilled once you’re done sweating from working.
“a few hundred dollars will allow you to get a few groceries even if the power is out.”
Not if you need eggs too! LOL