Power outages have become a fact of life, which is why more people are buying a power outage kit. A power outage kit is designed to provide you with everything you may need during any type of power outage. Power outage preparedness has increasingly become a center of attention for various government agencies and non-profit groups. This is largely because the need for a power outage kit is often overlooked due to the possibility of more severe emergencies. At the same time, a power outage can become a real threat, which is why a power outage survival kit should be considered essential.
A power outage kit can be used in a variety of different situations. There are actually several different types of electrical outage emergencies that may require a power outage kit. The first type of power outage that could require a power outage kit is a blackout. This is when electricity is lost to an entire geographic area. When a blackout occurs, there is no telling how long you will be without electricity, which is the primary reason to have an emergency power outage kit. A rolling blackout is a strategy used by electric companies to rotate the available power between areas to avoid a complete blackout. Since they are normally announced in advance, there is no reason not to have your power outage kit ready.
You Are Most Likely to Need a Power Outage Kit in the Summer and Winter
Statistically, you will be at the highest risk of a blackout during the late-spring/summer and winter, which means this is when you will need your power outage kit the most. You should have a power outage kit by late spring and early summer because they are high-risk electrical outage times. This is because late spring and summer are when you will get hit by large thunderstorms. With high winds, these storms can easily take down power lines for an extended period of time, which makes your power outage kit a necessity. Your power outage emergency kit should always be easily accessible during these months. Another reason that summer places you at a high risk of a power outage is because of spikes electricity consumption. Everyone tries to stay cool during those hot summer months and it can overload the entire infrastructure, which means you should always keep your power outage kit handy.
An electrical outage in the winter months can be exceptionally dangerous, which is why certain items included in your power outage kit are specifically tailored towards keeping you warm. In the winter, high winds, ice storms, and heavy snow can all bring down power lines at a moments notice. Power outage preparedness is especially important in the winter because extended periods of time in freezing temperatures poses a number of health risks – particularly hypothermia.
A Power Outage Kit Can Be Used for 72 Straight Hours
While many power outages will last anywhere from minutes to a few hours, it is vital that your power outage kit provide you with the necessary items to survive for 3 days without electricity. Power outage preparedness experts and multiple government agencies have stated that 72 hours is the longest that it will normally take for emergency services to respond. Fortunately, you will likely be in your home, which means you should have access to food and water, to compliment your power outage kit.
What Does a Power Outage Kit Include?
The standard power outage survival kit will contain a variety of items tailored to meet specific needs. In general, there should be enough resources in each power outage kit to keep 2 people safe during a blackout. When looking at an emergency power outage kit, everything can be placed into two categories: primary concerns and secondary issues. Ideally, your power outage kit will have everything you need at all times.
Light, Communication, and Warmth Are the Key Components of Every Power Outage Kit
The focal point of every quality power outage emergency kit should be light, communication, and warmth. When the power goes out, most people scramble around their home in the dark looking for a flashlight – hoping the batteries still work. To avoid this problem, you should always keep your power outage kit in an easily accessible location. Every power outage kit should include a hand-powered radio flashlight. This will not only give you an unlimited source of light, but also allow you to listen for an emergency broadcast messages sent out over the radio. Since your power outage survival kit is designed for more than one person, additional light sources should be included in each power outage kit as well. Common options for every power outage kit are emergency 36 hour candles (with waterproof matches) and 12 hour glow sticks.
To keep you warm in the winter months, hand/body warmers and emergency sleeping bags should be included in your power outage kit as well. Not having heat for a few hours in your home may not seem like much, but after a few days you will definitely enjoy your sleeping bags. Make sure to keep an eye on your power outage kit because people tend to misplace the flashlight and sleeping bags when they use them for other things.
Other Smart Additions to Your Power Outage Kit
Along with making sure that all of the immediate threats are taken car of, there are a few additional resources which should be included in an emergency power outage kit. The first thing is to include in your power outage kit is a first aid kit. Since you will be in your home when the power outage occurs, some people will keep their first aid kit separate from their power outage kit because they use it more often. While this is an option, it is a much better idea to keep everything together – or at least keep some select first aid supplies in your power outage kit. As an added bonus, keeping them together will ensure that you will always know where both of them are.
An electrical outage that lasts for a few minutes may not be a big deal, but that isn't what a power outage kit is made for. These kits have been developed by leading power outage preparedness experts to address the more serious threats associated with long term power loss – particularly in the summer and winter months. A power outage kit traditionally does not include things like food and water since you will likely lose power when you are at home. If this is a concern, then feel free to add a few non-perishable food items to your power outage kit as well.