Like many parts of the country, my hometown has been slammed with snow lately. In the past week alone, we’ve had about three feet and it’s still snowing as I write this.
Thankfully, we’ve only lost power for a short period of time and haven’t had to go days without power yet as we have in the past when an ice storm caused a huge tree to fall on a power line.
But, since winter may be here for a few more weeks (and I’m pretty sure it’s coming next year too) I thought I’d share with you a very short and simple list of items to help you stay safe and comfortable during a short-term power outage.
- Sleeping Bags – Every member of my family has a quality sleeping bag so we can stay warm in the house. These are sleeping bags that are rated for 0 degrees and are not the cheap $30 sleeping bags you get at Wal-Mart that are rated for 40 degrees. Since I enjoy camping we get a lot of use out of these bags so for my family they’re not just for power outages. An example of one of the bags we own is the Mountain Equipment Helium 400.
- Flashlights – I own enough tactical flashlights to equip a small army. But for a power outage you don’t need a flashlight that’s so bright it can be seen from the moon. The inexpensive Eveready Lights (the big yellow ones) will last 100 hours and provide plenty of light for you to maneuver around your house. I’ve got these things all over my house so I don’t have to walk far without the ability to get a flashlight.
- Axe – I’m fortunate to have a wood stove in my house. And, although I’ve got lots of wood already chopped, if I run out I don’t have to worry because I have a quality axe to chop up more. If you have a wood stove or fireplace (or even if you don’t) make sure you’ve got an axe that won’t fall apart when your family’s warmth depends on it. Once such Axe is the Fiskars X27.
- Large Camping Stove – Like several of the items on this list (flashlights, guns) I own several camping stoves. Some are smaller for use while hiking and camping and others are large for camping only. One of my large stoves is the Stansport 2-Burner Propane Stove. If the lights are out I still want to be able to cook warm meals and boil hot water and this stove has worked well for me.
- Guns – I like guns, what can I say. It’s possible that one day I’ll create a checklist that doesn’t involve firearms, but today is not that day. When the power is out because of a snowstorm your alarm system may be down as well and the cops will likely take longer to get to you because they’re tied up with traffic accidents.
Criminals know this and just because it’s snowing it doesn’t mean they don’t want to rob people to be able to pay for their next drug purchase. This is why, at the very least, you’ll find me walking around my home with my Ruger LCP or Smith & Wesson snubby (Airweight 642) in my pocket.
Like I said, this is a very small list for short-term power outages and not an “end of the world” list. If you’ve got suggestions on items you think I should add, please let me know.
Photo by NSFC