Here is a little fictional story that may seem familiar to some of you…
You come home after dark (around 5:30 pm in the winter) to find the power is out.
Darn! WHERE did you put those flashlights?
No problem, you’ll just use the light on your phone to look for them.
Oh, these candle will do…shoot! Where are the matches?
Back to searching…
Fifteen minutes later…finally found the flashlights. Batteries are dead. Where are the batteries?
Five minutes later. You’ve found the matches and light some candles.
Now, what’s for dinner. Let’s eat out! Oh, nope that won’t work. The power is out all over town.
Ok…can’t use the stove or the oven or the microwave. We’ll go with cereal.
Ooopps…we are out of milk.
There is a camp stove somewhere, but the propane for it? Not quite sure…
Found it! Campbells chicken noodle soup it is!
Your son needs to turn in his homework. But he needs a computer to do it.
Pull out the solar charger/generator. How in the heck do I use this thing? Did I throw away the instructions or keep them somewhere?
All right, it’s bedtime. Freezing outside and no heater. You know there are some extra blankets around somewhere. Maybe the guest room? Or the hall closet? Nope. Oh, yeah, you moved them to the laundry room.
Now, what about those little hand warmer things? You could throw one under each person’s blankets. But WHERE ARE THEY????
Why You Should Keep the Power Out Supplies Together?
All right, so that might be (or IS) a bit exaggerated, but my point is that it is smart to keep all your power out supplies together. The reason I was able to write the story above is that I’ve been the person in that story before.
We have our supplies in two spots. This is our upstairs hall closet (near our bedrooms) where I keep almost everything except our powerless cooking supplies.
And this is where we keep our powerless cooking supplies.
Not pictured–We also have a Sun Oven and solar panels (for the solar “generators”). We’ve also recently added a HERC oven (which I love far more than the Sun Oven) and one bucket of tea lights to “fuel” it for a year.
We also keep flashlights in everyone’s top dresser drawer as well as in the car. In addition, we have a Red Cross Black Out Buddy in each bedroom and hallway.
Power Out Supplies Checklist
Today, take ten minutes to find all your power out supplies and move them all to the same place. Even if you can’t put them all in the same closet or room, put your batteries by your flashlights, matches by your candles, cords, and manuals by your generators, solar chargers, lights, etc., hand warmers by your blankets, and fuel by your stove.
If you don’t yet have all the power out supplies you’d like to, no worries! It took me over four years to gather what I’ve got. Just chip away at it a bit at a time. God will bless you for your efforts however small. There are four main categories you should consider:
And if you’d like, you can read more power out tips here: Living Without Electricity
If you are wondering what everything is in all those pictures up there, here are more details about what I have in our power out supplies. *Some links below are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on the link. Thanks for supporting me and my family in this way!
Each of the products I link to is something I have purchased for my own family and fully trust. Get ideas from the list below and maybe even set some goals for what you’d like to have eventually. But remember, you don’t need everything all at once! Just make sure you have a few good basics from each of the four categories!
- Flashlights (found a great deal on these on Amazon. Not sure how long they will last, but I got them for $9.99 (regularly $70). I like them because they use AA or AAA batteries, and we store rechargeable batteries in those sizes). We also keep mini-mag lights by each bed.
- Headlamps. In a true disaster (earthquake, etc.) we’d likely need light AND the use of both hands.
- 100-hour candles
- Solar/crank lantern
- Two Goal Zero Light a Life lights. These are CRAZY bright and are powered by the Goal Zero generators. These are no longer available, but have been replaced by the Lighthouse 250 which is even better!
- Goal Zero Guide 10 and Nomad 7 Solar Panel (this will charge all our small electronics as well as AAA and AA NiMH batteries)
- Solar generators. The Goal Zero Yeti 400 will power our mini-fridge. We have two so we can be using one while the other is charging. The Goal Zero Yeti 150 will power our computers and small kitchen appliances, etc.
- Goal Zero 30M Solar panel. We have three so we can chain them and charge the generators quicker.
- Dome Generator. Really just a battery with fancy gadgets on it. We’d only be able to use it until it ran out of power. But can be used to power computers, fill our car tires, jump our car, etc. We use this for short-term power outages or to avoid going somewhere else to fill our tires. (-: We bought it before the Goal Zero products. The one I have is no longer available, but the one linked above is similar.
- Homemade space heater using terra cotta pots and tea lights (DIY post HERE)
- Hand Warmers. We can put them under our blankets with us when we sleep.
- Blankets (all kept together in a second upstairs closet by our bedrooms)
Since writing this post, we’ve added a HERC oven to our supplies. If I could recommend one powerless cooking tool (after using all the others below), it’s the HERC oven and a butane stove.
- Quick Meals
- BaroCook. Just add water to create heat and cook a small meal. Great for immediately following a disaster when you don’t have time to find all your other more complicated cooking tools.
- Two Single Burner butane stoves with extra butane
- Propane camp stove with extra propane
- Volcano stove
- Quickfire stove
- Quickfire pucks (I want more of these. Very stable fuel source. Can be used in the quickfire stove and the volcano stove as well as to help start a fire/light charcoal, etc.)
- Firewood (We have a firepit and should store a lot more wood than we have).
- Three Dutch Ovens
- Charcoal (in buckets with gamma lids…for longer shelf life)
- Sun Oven
- Manual hand blender
- Lighter fluid
- Batteries of all sizes
- Rechargeable NiMH batteries
- Manuals. I highly recommend that you keep the manual for every power out the product you own. I also recommended that you write the name of the product on its power cord. These aren’t supplies you will likely use often and you may need a refresher when the time comes!
- Cords. A lot of these products have cords, etc. I label the cord with the product name and then keep all cords in the same spot.
- Windup radio/flashlight
10 Minute Preparedness Projects!
Everyone can find 10 minutes, right? Every 10 days or so, I challenge myself to spend 10 minutes on preparedness and self-reliance, and I invite you to join me! Simple, right?
You can find more 10 minutes preparedness projects here:
21 thoughts on “Keep Your Power Out Supplies Together: A 10 Min Prep Project”
I have a tote with rechargeable flashlights and land lantern’s the power cords are with them.i have a clip on mini flashlight on me at all times.i keep a lantern on my coffetable 24/7.i love my morning coffee.so I have a 8 cup and a 12 cup stovetop percolators that I had originally bought for camping.they come in handy during a power outage. I’m in east texas.i lucked out by having candles during the subzero temps and outage in February 2021.i have a Colman campstove.4 little folding wood burning setups.one by it self is good for a percolator.or set all all 4 side by side, and cook bacon and eggs,or what ever.
This is very important. I’ve stocked up on flashlights and tapered glass candles from Dollar Tree, good batteries (in the package) when on sale at CVS, matches and clickers over the months. Also mini lanterns from Ocean State Job Lot. We keep them all together on the top shelf of the linen closet. When our power happens to go out, all our supplies are together and no worries about old batteries inside that may have fizzled out.
We also have a 2-pack bag of charcoal and lighter fluid for grill and our neighbor who moved gave us a tabletop propane cooker so we can cook outside. Granted, we have a generator that powers the entire house (except for A/C), but we try to run as little electricity as possible with it (freezer/fridge, one light, tv, computers) . I turn any additional electric items off when I have to wash/dry clothes on the generator as not to overwork it. It’s a pain to start with the pull string. But….it’s a blessing!
I really like this list. I loved the approach that it doesn’t have to be the end of the world for an emergency to come up. I’ve been so overwhelmed by the prospect of power free cooking and don’t have a plan for that yet. I should know better, having experienced days long winter rolling blackouts as a kid during a freak winter storm… Time to look in to some of these options!
I read the reviews on the American Red Cross lights and so many times they almost started a fire. I would be afraid to buy this item.
Just a belated comment from a Pinterest browser and someone who recently suffered through a year-long rebuild from a house fire. I had most of my preps stored in a single room in the basement. The fire burned out the entire first floor leaving the preps smoked but largely undamaged. The restoration company packed everything up and placed it in (inaccessible) storage for 10 months. My new plan is dispersed preps, some in the shop, some in the greenhouse, some in the storage shed. We don’t live in a tornado prone area and hurricanes are unheard of in the deserts of Idaho. But, as I found out, disaster is just one piece of malfunctioning electronic equipment away. The ironic thing is, it was a solar generator that caused the fire, one of my preps for the winter storm (and subsequent power outage that may have occurred) that was being charged overnight. While fully prepared for TEOTWAWKI my house burned down and I was, for all intents and purposes, homeless in a 5 degree snowstorm. If you’re going to put all your goodies in one basket . . .
Oh my goodness, what a story. I’m glad you are okay now.
I have a few hand warmers but I keep the reusable kind which just takes boiling water to reset it cost a tad more money but they last longer and most brand’s can double as ice pacs after they lose heat after activation before you reset them
I’ve thought of those too Amber, they are tempting. But what would you do in a power outage? I’m just not sure I’d want to use my fuel to boil water to heat them….have you thought of a solution?
I’ve thought good old fashion fire with wood if I’m already using a fire to warm the place up might as well stick a lot of water over top
That would work really well….if I had a wood burning stove and a place to store lots of wood. Darn. But great for you! Glad it works!
Do you have a grill outside? I usually keep a log or 2 under there for burning incase I don’t have charcoal or want a more woodsy taste you wouldn’t need a lot of wood just a few logs and boil water that way
Yes, I have lots of powerless cooking options…a grill…and tealight oven, a sun oven, dutch oven, a butane burner, a firepit even. I just don’t want to use my fuel (firewood, propane, butane, charcoal, candles etc) for that in a long term power outage. That is why I store the disposable hand warmers. But if you arm warming them while warming your home…then, I think the non-disposable are a great idea!
I never thought of storing charcoal in five-gallon buckets. That is such a better way than leaving it in those sloppy bags.
I clicked on the kindle cook, but it wouldn’t bring the site up. Also clicked on manual blender and it wouldn’t come up either.
I have a solar generator with 2 100w solar panels. I love it. It’s from solution from science site.
I love your site and all your articles.
Thanks Teresa. Thrive has discontinued those items….I will go update the links. THanks for catching it and for letting me know!
Well, we had a power outage this weekend and guess who was not happy she hadn’t taken the advice of wise Misty? Actually it was a good learning experience, as situations like this tend to be. I learned why it’s important to have many different cooking sources available (when it’s a hot summer night and the AC is out I don’t really want to use the gas range and when it’s raining and the powerline behind our house is on fire I don’t much want to cook on the grill or over the firepit either!). After re-reading this article, I looking into the Kindle Cook and ended up buying a Barocook, which I’m pretty excited about. I also learned the value of a small generator. It would have been great to put a movie in on my laptop or run a fan. What did work great for me though was my collection of oil lamps I’ve been picking up at thrift stores. There are other things I’ve been meaning to pick up that this event put further up on the list…a battery operated boom box for one. I have an emergency radio, but we really just needed some tunes 🙂 I’ll be taking this advice now and putting together a bin or something with what I’ll need for the next time this happens.
Wow Caitlin! I’m sorry you had to live without power, but so glad you took the time to let us know about your experience! We do learn a lot from real life experiences!
Misty- I loved the article but would make one additional recommendation: in our home, everyone has a bedside flashlight and every hallway has a Sylvania nightlight that automatically charges and stays on when the power’s out and can be removed to use as a flashlight. Each car has a flashlight in the glovebox and each entryway has a flashlight. I also have a cool headlight hat I bought at the scout store for each family member!
We also have a closest, as you do, with all additional flashlights, candles, oil and kerosine lamps and other power out supplies but it makes sense to have randomly stashed flashlights throughout the house as well. Many of our rooms are ” decorated” with candles 😉
For heat, we converted our drafty fireplace and got a wood burning stove insert…best investment we’ve made!
Absolutely! WE have them there too (and I’ve got articles about car kits and bedside kits on the site), but I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to get the Sylvania nightlights!
I love this! What a great idea. Thanks for all the detailed pics! This is something we need to do!
Thanks Jamie! Simple, but helps when you actually need something! (-: