Prepare a Power Outage Kit

stormcloudsDangerous storms can occur at any time of year, so be prepared for the storm and a possible power outage.

Being prepared doesn’t involve a lot of money or time, but it does require that you spend a few minutes before a storm hits.

Have at least one alternate source of light, preferably two. A flashlight, batteries, candle and matches are a good combination. Candles are fine for lighting a dark room, but a flashlight is a much more convenient and safer alternative for navigating dark hallways or staircases, and safer for use around small children.

Stock plenty of emergency water, especially if you have your own well. Filling the bathtub when a severe storm threatens is a small price to pay for cleaning and flushing water.

Think about the type of food in your emergency food stores. Tuna might not be the best choice, unless you enjoy eating it plain and can dispose of the empty can. Instead, stock crackers, peanut butter, canned or dried fruit, and possibly instant noodles and coffee if you have a wood-burning stove or other means of heating water. Remember to include paper plates and plastic utensils.

Keep an extra blanket and pillow nearby. If you keep your storm supplies in the basement, store these items in plastic bags to protect them from dampness.

A battery-powered radio is essential. It may seem obvious, but many people forget that radios and televisions won’t work if the power is out. Writing down a local station that carries electric cooperative outage information can be mighty helpful.

Keep a basic first aid kit on hand, just in case.

If you have small children, you might consider keeping a few different toys handy. The novelty of a new toy may distract and quiet a frightened or tired child.

You might also tuck in a paperback whodunit. Grownups get bored, too.