July 6, 2016

Power's Out Kit


How often does your power go out?

Put together a kit to sustain your family when the electricity goes out.

Living out in the country like we do, our power goes out unexpectedly, but rather regularly. Usually it comes on again after a couple of hours. Sometimes it doesn't, but my "Power's Out" kit means I'm prepared.

I put this kit together several years ago and have been tweaking it ever since. As I think of things that might be helpful I add them, and rotate the food inside on a regular basis. The kit will sustain us at home for up to three days. Are you interested in making a kit too?

Start by planning easy-to-cook food for three days. Write down ideas for three meals a day plus snacks. Take into account the size of your family and their tastes and needs. Your contents will change over the years as your family's needs change.

What can you eat for dinner if the electricity goes out?

These nine meals can be supplemented with crackers and other foods you might have on hand as well as veggies from the garden if the season is right, but should be "enough" in case other items aren't available. After all, it might be the dead of winter or the day before payday.

Comfort food is a must during such times, so add a few "goodies" too, like my package of freeze-dried ice cream. Add a jar of instant coffee if you're a coffee drinker, or single-serving cans of fruit juice, V-8, and Gatorade. You'll need bottled water too, of course. In most rural areas, if the electricity goes off, so does your well pump.

Snacks, including freeze-dried ice cream.

Your food items should be shelf-stable and just need to be warmed up on a campstove or other heat source. I didn't pack pans or cooking utensils in my kit because I'm assuming we'd use this at home where we have access to those items, but you can include those if you wish.

We've transitioned away from eating a lot of prepared foods, so I'm working home-canned items into the kit instead of cans from the grocery store. Packaged snacks will stay, just because they are shelf-stable.

Paper and plasticware to use if the power goes out.

Include packages of paper plates, cups and plasticware so you won't have to wash dishes. A box of heavy-duty aluminum foil is handy to wrap food packets for cooking on the grill. If you use an electric can opener in the kitchen, remember to put a manual opener in your kit.

I store all of this in a Rubbermaid bin, with the heavier food on the bottom and the lighter items on top.

A weather radio and flashlights are important in power outages. You might put them in the kit or keep them in a more accessible place. Store fuel for your campstove in an appropriate place.

Bin of food and supplies to use when the power goes out.

The heart of the kit is the written menu plan. I know we might be tempted to eat more than I've planned for one day, so I wrote down what we should eat for each meal and each day.

All the foods in the kit need to be rotated and replaced on a regular basis. I try to do this every six months, checking expiration dates on the canned goods and replacing the snacks often to keep them crisp and fresh. I have a post-it note on my calendar/planner to remind me, and when the task is completed I move the note forward another six months.

What else would you put in a power's out kit? Are you prepared in case the electricity goes out?



This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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22 comments:

  1. This is a great idea and I think I would like to put one together too. I would add candles & matches and/or a couple of flashlights and extra batteries, this way they are in a convenient location and we wouldn't have to hunt down a light source.

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    1. You can never have too many flashlights, April. We have some in the kit, in the living room, and on each nightstand. I hope you do put a kit together, you never know when the power will go out.

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  2. This is such a smart idea. We have plenty of power outages, which is fine in nice weather. Not so great in the types of conditions that usually bring us power outages, though!

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    1. Winter power outages are challenging... so are the ones during the peak of summer's heat.

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  3. Great Thought Thanks. Found on homesteader hop!

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    1. I'm glad you stopped by, Marcy.

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  4. Great idea! If only I had one of these yesterday! Lol, Thanks for sharing on the Homesteader Hop!

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    1. You could have used one, that's for sure, Jamie!

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  5. Wonderful list! I like your process of keeping on track switching things up every 6 months. If I write something actually on the calendar, I tend to still skip over it if I'm busy. I like your idea of actually having to move the sticky note.

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    1. I hope a post-it note works for you too, Ellen.

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  6. great idea! we have been having power issues here too. i figure sooner or later they won't come back on!

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    1. It's good insurance to have on hand. :-)

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  7. What a great plan! Thanks for sharing this wisdom at Tuesdays with a Twist! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

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  8. Love your kit! Perhaps an addition of hand held battery charged fans for the elderly. I think you should do a detailed post on your menu!! What campstove do you use?

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    1. We have a Coleman campstove, which uses small cans of propane that are often sold in two-packs for about $5. I like the addition of fans in case a power outage is in the summer (and it's HOT in Oklahoma in the summer!) I'll do a post on the menu soon, so be on the lookout for it. :-)

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  9. Wow! This is such a great idea! I think I'm going to put together a kit for our family as well! Our power doesn't go out very often, but I always like to be prepared for the unexpected! Thanks for sharing this great idea!

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    1. You're very welcome, Brittany. I'm glad it spurred you on to being better prepared.

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  10. what an awesome idea! Since we live here in Las Vegas, this seems to be more of an occurance than when we lived in Florida, so I am going to make a kit like this. You would think a big city like this one would not have power problems? I thought so, but I was wrong. Thanks for this helpful info! Blessings!

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    1. You're welcome, Claudia. Yes, I'd think a large city would have fewer outages. It's good to be prepared!

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  11. We are very lucky, our power doesn't go out very often as we are in a modern development in a suburb so our cables are all buried. It does happen occasionally though. This is a fantastic kit to have on hand for anyone though as it's always good to be prepared for these things. I'm so glad you shared this post with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop, Kathi! Pinned :-)

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    1. You are fortunate that yours doesn't go out very often, April, and yes, it never hurts to be prepared. Thank you for pinning my post!

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