In West Texas we tend to get late spring and summer lightning storms, and they are no joke! I know in the past few years, I have experienced power outages, some lasting as long as 6 hours. From experience, I have come up with a list of things it is good to have in case of a power outage this spring or summer.
Putting together your lights-out box
The first and probably most office item you’ll want in your box are flashlights. These will help you get around the house without knocking things over or hurting yourself. Flashlights will also help you navigate through your box to get other essentials. Another smart option is a headlamp. These are easy to strap on your head, and while they may look a little cheesy, they are much handier than a flashlight because they are hands free.
The second suggestion I have is a battery-powered radio. This way you can listen to the news and find out what is going on. Your television will not work and your laptop, tablet or phone may not have access to an internet connection during an outage, so it is worth having a radio. If the storm is severe, it is valuable to have a radio to hear all information to further prepare for what could be coming toward your home.
If your electronics are low on battery or you fear that could be the case when a power outage occurs, purchase some battery-powered chargers and keep an extra charger cord in the bin. It’s better to buy an extra charger cord than to try and find the last place you were charging your phone or tablet in the dark.
Another suggestion I have is to keep a supply of candles, crayons and lighters in the box. I personally have a small pack of generic lighters and a few big candles in my box, but if you need light and have crayons they work too! These are good for having some stationary light. I like to light up my kitchen and living room during a power outage with candles. I also keep a couple decks of cards in my box, so my family or friends and I can play cards to kill the time. If you have kids, coloring books or sticker books are a good idea. Or even a storybook to keep the whole family entertained.
You should also keep snacks and water bottles in your box. You don’t want to open the fridge when your power is out because the fridge is off. If you open your fridge, the cold air can escape and end up ruining all of your refrigerated food.
The final and one of the most important items to keep in your lights-out box is extra batteries that work with your headlamp, flashlights, radio and battery power chargers. Without extra batteries, you may not be able to use the majority of the items listed above.
I hope this blog post helps you and all of the people who live with you to be prepared for any sort of power outages that West Texas may face this storm season. It pays off to be prepared for any emergency situation, so start making your lights-out box today!