A guide to prepping your home for a long-term power outage

If your neighborhood suddenly loses power for a week or one month, can your family survive without starving or running out of water? Even if it’s easy to prepare for a short-term power outage, not everyone is ready to face a long-term event. Outages can occur due to various reasons like a natural disaster or societal collapse. However, regardless of what causes them, you need to prepare these seven things so you can stay safe and warm if you have to deal with a long-term power outage. (h/to AmericanPreppersNetwork.com.)


If you lose power at night, you’ll have a hard time getting around your house. You can avoid this by keeping several flashlights in well-marked areas of the house like drawers and bedside tables. Have at least one flashlight per adult family member.

Don’t forget to stockpile a lot of extra batteries so everyone has a spare set for their flashlights. Other light sources to store include LED and oil lanterns, candles, and matches. Consider safety issues when using open flames for light, heat, or cooking, especially if you have children or small pets.


Humans can only last for several days without water. Before you experience a long-term power outage, stockpile at least one gallon of water per person per day for drinking and cooking.

You can purchase clean water in sealed containers at local department stores, or you can purchase larger containers for preserving water online at preparedness outlets.


If you live in an area with a cold climate, heat may be more of a necessity than a mere convenience. If your house has a fireplace, make sure you know how to use it safely, especially if electric heat becomes unavailable.

Other heating options include propane heaters, but take note of heaters that aren’t suitable for use in confined areas. Ignoring basic safety guidelines may cause personal injury or death due to fire or carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

You can also stock up on extra blankets and warm clothing so the whole family can stay warm during a long-term power outage. Prepare an extra blanket and normal bedding for each family member.

Other items that you may need include warm sweaters, hats, and socks. Make changes to these suggestions depending on your climate.

Emergency food and cooking options

If you have a small camping stove and a lot of food supplies, you won’t starve during a long-term power outage. Other cooking options that don’t require electricity include a crock pot and solar panels, a flameless cooking system, or even your fireplace.

Make sure your food supply includes home canned and dried foods. To determine how much food you need to prepare for a power outage, multiply how many meals you will need for the whole family every day by the number of days you would like to be prepared for. Don’t forget to stock up on pet food if you have furry friends at home.

Personal medications

This is crucial if you have babies at home or someone with diabetes or several allergies. Consult a healthcare professional so you have an idea of what supplies and medications your family members might need. With careful planning, you can avoid life-threatening emergencies.

Your freezer

A freezer can be crucial to your survival during a long-term power outage. Once the freezer is stocked with food, store water bottles in every unused space so they can freeze and keep the food cold even after you lose electricity. These frozen water bottles will also provide you with more clean water as they melt.

When the power goes out, drape a spare sleeping bag over the freezer. With the extra insulation, the food will last longer. (Related: No Power? No problem, here are 5 ways to keep food cold when the grid goes down.)

Hand crank weather radio

You can monitor weather reports and the local news with a hand crank weather radio even if the power goes out. The good thing about hand crank radios is that they don’t need batteries, just some good old-fashioned cranking.

Aside from these seven items, prepare extra materials that can keep your whole family entertained if and when the power goes out for a long time, like board games, a lot of books, or a deck of cards. Add some comfort items like toys for the little ones and your pets so they can stay calm when the lights go out.

By preparing today, you can ensure that your family stays warm and safe even during a long-term power outage.

You can read more articles with tips on how to prepare for a long-term power outage at Preparedness.news.

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