Last week, we had no power for almost 24 hours, something I hadn’t experienced since I was a little girl. Because we live in earthquake country, we always have emergency supplies on hand. But the power outage was a chance for us to test some of our newer supplies and see what worked, and assess whether we had enough of the proper materials on hand for a true emergency. Here’s some of what we learned:
- Food in an unopened refrigerator is considered safe by the government for 4 hours. Food in an unopened freezer is considered safe for 48 hours (24 hours if the freezer is only half full).
- Coleman’s glow sticks work beautifully as night lights and last 10 hours or more. (The orange one lasted about 10 hours, but the green one was still emitting a good amount of light after 12.)
- Our fluorescent flashlight/radios give off a lot of light.
- Battery-powered radios don’t get AM reception in our house (we tried several radios too).
- Have lots of D batteries on hand.
- We don’t have many candles on hand for emergencies because you can’t use them during an earthquake, but it’s good to have some for power outages.
Our local gas company sent the following list of things to keep on hand for an emergency:
- first aid kit
- essential medications and extra eyeglasses
- 3 gallons of bottled water per person (or 1 gallon per person per day)
- shelf-stable food
- blankets/sleeping bags
- extra set of house and car keys
- fire extinguisher (A-B-C type)
- portable radio, flashlight and batteries
- anything necessary for babies, elderly or disabled family members, and pets