10 things you need to survive a power outage

My family lives in the 300-year old town of New Bern, NC. Hurricane Matthew came through yesterday, and some of our neighbors lost some siding and trees. Our house, however, is made of solid cinderblock. we were fine.

We have had some really bad hurricanes and storms (and even tornadoes) in the past, and I wanted to share 10 things you need in order to survive a storm, assuming you lose power like we never do (we are on the hospital grid).

1. Non-perishables. If you have no power, you cannot cook food, so don’t stock up on eggs and milk. You need food that doesn’t require cooking and baking and refrigeration. Avoid opening the fridge at all cost; keep the cold in! Get food like bread and peanut butter and jelly, or tuna packets, non-refrigerated fruit, etc.

2. If you’re a coffee drinker or you know you can’t survive without your morning omelet, get a camping stove, or make-shift stove. You can get one on Amazon (this is the one my folks have, it’s great), or you can DIY one like this.


3. A percolator, or a french press. Your Keurig isn’t going to help you much now, is it? Here are three options: a large one (if there are several coffee drinkers in your family) a small one, and a percolator. Alternatively you can make Cold Brew.
pressgold pressperc

4. Baileys. If your power goes out, you will not have cream for your coffee. This is a true emergency.
5. Fresh drinking water. This is something I’d stock up on in advance; every time you go to the store, get a gallon of distilled water. They’re usually between .75-1.00 and when everyone is buying them at the same time, the stores are more likely to run out. So stock up on advance. For washing dishes, you can fill your bathtub with water, and get a water pitcher and bring some to the sink whenever you need to wash dishes.
6. A fully-stocked first aid kit. Make sure you have a tourniquet, an ice pack, tons of band-aids, cloth tape, thermometer, pain killers, neosporin, and rubbing alcohol, all in a waterproof case.
first aid kit
7. A lighter, matches, and lint or old t-shirts for fire starter. Keep all this in a plastic box or waterproof container.

8. All your emergency and important documents located and in one spot, just in case you need them. This includes your insurance policies.

9. Mylar blankets. They are reflective, can be used to keep you warm, or can make a tent. Get a big pack of them here.

10. Stuff to keep the kids entertained that doesn’t require electricity. Games, toys (with no batteries), books, coloring books and crayons, etc.

What are your essentials for power outages?


  1. The Bailey's tip is absolutely my favorite!!! Oh the things we will do for coffee :)

  2. My mom, 84 and amazing, has all these on hand, just because...you never know. Her neighborhood lost power for DAYS and she stayed home throughout. She was the life of the neighborhood as she emptied her refrigerator and cooked breakfast and served coffee daily. Great list!

  3. Great information to know! I need to start stocking up on some of these just so we're sure to have them.

  4. This is great to keep in mind. I'll need to stock up in some if these

  5. That was good !! I love Baileys fabulous taste. Thanks for sharing your tips.

  6. Thank you for sharing this! This is so useful. My parents have 3 months worth of food as back-up. Now that I don't live with them, I should start doing some myself and I can start with what you gave out here :)

  7. It cracked me up that you included Baileys. And the french press is a wonderful tip. I never thought of how useful it would be in an outage.

  8. Good call on the baileys, I mean, it's not often that you're going to need something that warms you up and makes your coffee creamy! Right? It's a valid must have!

  9. I agree I always keep candles as well!

  10. Never run out of candles, they are really big help! We have power outage once in a while and good thing we are prepared for it.

  11. This is a great list. I am going to buy those mylar blankets because you never know when you might need them. Great post.

  12. I'm not prepared at all for a power outage! Thanks for this great advice! -Erin at www.stayathomeyogi.com

  13. I am not at all prepared for an outage. I've never had one in the past, but you never know.

  14. There are so many things that can go wrong during a power outage and it's good to be prepared. I love this list, especially since it also has baileys!

  15. Power outage is such a serious issue, particularly when you have kids at home. You have shared some most important essentials needed to survive one such horrible period which could be helpful during floods & hurricanes!



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