Best Generator? It depends on your actual needs. You’re going to need a way to have some electricity when there’s no way for you to get any. Besides having solar panels in place, you should also have a generator. Not only are these good to have for when a pandemic hits, but they also come in handy during any time the power goes out.
The size of the generator you purchase is going to depend on a few different factors. When you need power, you have to figure out what you need the energy for – because various appliances use different amounts of wattage.
Best Generator to Keep Your Family Functioning
You can find these listed in the appliance owner’s manual or through an online search, but you need to know because it determines the type of generator that you need.
You don’t want to figure in useless appliances that will waste your fuel. It’s better to hand wash the dishes than to burn up fuel by using the dishwasher. You figure out the size that you need by listing the items that you’re going to have to use electricity for.
For example, most people want a generator that can power a refrigerator and a freezer that is stocked full of food for the months ahead so that they don’t lose that storage.
You figure out what you need by looking up how much wattage it takes to run each of the items you want to run. You add those to give you the total wattage amount. You want to buy a generator with the wattage power that can handle all of this.
So you would look for one with the wattage capacity that was more than you need to run your most significant wattage appliance. It takes about 700 watts to run a refrigerator.
That doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you add a furnace and electronics, the wattage use creeps up. These items also draw wattage upon starting, so you have to figure that in, too. It takes more wattage to start most things than to keep them running.
You want to choose a generator that’s carefully matched to the wattage use that you need. If you only need 3,000 watts, don’t select a generator that can power more than twice that because you’re just burning up the gas that it takes to run the generator.
Most homes can be run on 5,000 watts. But those are running watts, so you have to take into consideration what it takes to start up. A generator of about 7,500 watts could efficiently run a home.
Because the generator will need gas, you’ll need to store that safely to prevent any problems with it. Keep your supply locked away and hidden. Store gasoline in gas-approved containers – but since you want to have this in bulk, you can find the larger containers that will hold more.
Some people suggest using steel drums, and you can buy these online. Whatever amount of gas you store, it will only keep for about a year before it starts to break down. However, there are additives like PRI that you can buy that can restore the gas.
Alternative Heat Sources for Power Outages? Winter is already here, and long before now, you made plans to get a heat-energy in case there was a power outage. However, you just realized the power is out, and you did not get an alternative to supplying your home with the much-needed heat for the winter storm?
What do you do? Not to worry, there are several emergency methods you can use to warm out without putting yourself at risk for frostbite or any other winter-related issues.
Emergency Heating Options For Winter Power Outages
We have compiled a few survival tips you can use to keep you and your family warm during this time.
Before The Power Goes Out
While you may still have power, here are a few ways to prepare yourself before the worst strikes:
Check on your generator
You may want to stock up on additional fuel for a few days to weeks as there is no sure way of telling how long your power may be out. You also need to check it is functioning effectively. However, if you do not have a generator, you may want to consider getting a dual-fuel generator (you can shop around for some affordable ones).
Invest in a propane heater
There is a wide variety of propane heaters you can choose from (such as propane-fueled buddy heaters), which are tested and proven safe for indoor use.
Alter your doors and windows
You want to prevent heat loss as well as preventing cold air from seeping in. You can purchase insulating shades or become creative with your heat sealers.
Stock Up on the basics
Ensure your family has enough warm blankets, comforters, and winter clothing to last for up to a few weeks.In addition to the noted tips above, you may also want to try a few of the following:
If the weather forecast notes an impending power outage, you may want to increase the temperature in your home so there will be enough heat to last. The warmer your home is at the beginning, the longer it will take to cool down. You can also add extra warmth to unused rooms in the house, so there will be a higher chance of thermal mass.
Fill your bathtub with hot water
Stock up on enough firewood and coal
During The Power Outage
You are indoors, and before long, you realize the power has been shut off. You need to move swiftly in doing the following:
Eliminate All Chances of Heat Loss
Now is not the time to be wasting much-needed heat as your body will need it. You can start by avoiding the opening and closing of exterior doors as cold air can allow the temperature to fall rapidly by up to 10 degrees. There is no way to get that wasted heat back!
If you need to go outside, try doing so through the garage, porch, or other areas where the cold air will not be able to enter the living space. Also, ensure you keep all interior doors closed.
Share Living Space
Have one separate room in the home where the family sleep. This room should be closed at all times and only opened when the family is entering. You can always use the living room as the central area where the family gathers for daily activities.
Seal Draft Areas
Your doors and windows may have draft areas above and below them, so sealing with a towel or draft blocker is necessary. This procedure will allow air from seeping in and clouding the trapped heat. You can either order custom-made or get creative. You can also close your blinds and curtains to help insulate your windows.
Move To The Basement
While the power is still on, you can consider putting extra heat in the basement and seal it. Once the heat inside is losing out, you can consider moving with the family to the basement.
There are alternative ways of getting heat in the home when there is a power outage. Aside from trapping heat that you saved, you can also create heat from:
Alternative Heat Sources for Power Outages
Wood or Coal Stoves
You can light your stove in a central area of the home and leave the internal doors open so the temperature can travel to other areas of the house. However, if you have limited wood, you can light the stove at specified intervals, then trap the heat. Don’t have a coal stove? No Worries, you can take your grills inside, and while adding some heat, you are making some sumptuous meals.
Indoor Propane Heaters
Before purchasing these heaters, you need to research whether they are safe for indoor use as not all of them are. Once it is, you can power on once the stored heat is exhausted.
You need to use this option with caution and with a fire extinguisher in close range. You can use candles, lanterns, and other lamps but under strict supervision. Be careful of open flames like candles as they can eventually ignite other items close to them. Also, do not place it on a table (wood or plastic) but instead on a metal surface.
Every home needs to have a thermos where they can store hot water for further use. You can use the water to make tea, porridge, or soup, which can serve as an excellent body-warming tactic.
Other Alternative Heat Sources for Power Outages
In addition to the previously highlighted forms of heat production, you can find different ways of staying warm. Ever heard of the “camping inside” trick? This method will see you setting up a tent in your home, and while it is creating a haven for warmth, it is a perfect distraction for the kids from the cold weather.
Also, it is best to have a set of winter clothing that will help to regulate the body’s temperature and keep you warm. These items of clothing include wool jackets, socks, gloves, and can be doubled if needs be.
Amidst the cold weather you might be experiencing, there is still some good to come out of it. You can use this time to keep your refrigerated foods fresh. Move the food items to an open area (porch or driveway) and let them build up some ice.
But in the end, there are so many ways to keep warm during a winter power outage, and how you deal with it depends on you. You can use these tips to help you go a far way.
Power Outage Boredom Busters? Power outages can be a bad thing in more than one way. Aside from the obvious, they can be a huge issue for parents. Bored and scared kids will often act out to get their point across and when it’s dark?
That can be extremely dangerous. That’s why I love these 10 power outage boredom busters! They’re great for keeping both kids and adults entertained when the lights go out and the storm is raging on!
10 Power Outage Boredom Busters
Spotlight is played with a group of people in large, dark environments. One (or more in a large group) player is designated as the ‘seeker’. The seeker is given a torch/flash-light and loudly counts a number of seconds (thirty is a good number). During that count, the rest of the players must run and hide.
The catch? The person who is “it” can only “tag” people with their flashlight beam.
Some people might call this flashlight tag.
I know it may seem “lame” to some, but shadow puppets are actually a fun way to make it through a power outage. This old-fashioned pastime seems to have fallen by the wayside but it will help keep everyone entertained.
Check out this video so you will daze and amaze them with your mad skills:
Have a treasure hunt
Hide something (or a few things) in the house and set the kids off with flashlights to find it! First-person to find the item (or items) wins a small prize!
From how to pitch that tent or teepee, to games to play, down to food to serve, they have 20 fantastic ideas to pour over!
Power Outage Boredom Busters: Start a band
Grab a few pots and pans and spatulas and make “beautiful” music. Be sure to sing loud!
OK – that might get old quick, but we found this great video that shows how to make four different “instruments” for your band – that alone will keep them busy for a bit – and then they have to practice before their performance!
Having an outage during daylight hours? Teach your kids to play cards! Play Go Fish or War for younger kids or 500 Rummy or Blackjack for older ones. They’ll work on their math skill AND have fun!
Actually, pretty much any board game will do – but a deck of cards can go a long way! Bicycle Cards has a lot of great games for kids to play on their site right here.
Just watch out for “slap jack” – that gets a little rough, LOL.
My Favorite of the Power Outage Boredom Busters: Tell Scary Stories
Obviously, you’ll want to make sure they’re age-appropriate, but scary stories in the dark are a fantastic way to pass the time. Here are some tips:
Get a story.
Have an idea on hand about what you are going to talk about – pulling it off of the top of you head is challenging. I like to talk about Kate Blood. Doesn’t the name alone sound like a great story is coming?
Make it real.
Or at least make it SEEM real – by weaving in elements that make it seriously plausable.
Use suspense, not gore.
People’s imaginations can conjure up scarier things than we can probably describe to them. It’s the unknown that often makes our imagination run wild. This is where you bring in the drip – drip – drip of the blood off the knife or the tick – tick – tick of the clock before it shimes midnight.
Don’t just tell it; act it out.
The best story tellers really get into it themselves – they seem almost animated. Use your body to help tell your story.
Practice makes perfect – if you have a “story up your sleeve” that is ready to share? You don’t have to memorize it for verbatim, but the general bullet points of flow will help make you a smash hit!
Start with a warning.
All good movies have disclaimers or ratings. Tell them right off the bat that maybe you shouldn’t be sharing this with them…
Use sound effects.
This is another great way to help sell your story – it adds layers of dimension to the entire experience.
Is there a sequel?
I think the best stories are the ones that don’t truely end – there is always that posiblilty that it could happen again, or is still happening. Is that grave really empty? What happened?
Don’t wrap it all up so there is aperfectly happy ending.
I hope that gives you a few fun tips on how to really rock that story – they will be begging you for another one!
Go on a ghost hunt
Things going bump in the dark? Grab your flashlights and go hunting for ghosts!
Power Outage Boredom Busters: Put on a show
Get out the dress clothes or play clothes and act out your favorite tv show or movie for the rest of the family. Remember to use flashlights and LED candles as spotlights!
This can be a hoot – before you know it, everyone is either cracking up or stunned as they realize that there might be an Oscar worthy actor in the family!
Tell a round-robin story
Have everyone sit around the room. One person starts the story with “Once upon a time” then passes to the next person. Each person adds 1 or 2 sentences to the story. You’d be surprised at how silly these can get!
Power outages don’t have to be boring and scary. If you get a little creative with them, they can also be fun! For moms and dads, they are also the perfect time to get things done around the house that you may have been putting off. I know that’s what I do with my time during them!
It seems strange to be talking about how to prep for summer storms when it is currently the middle of winter. (sigh) But that is what preppers do – plan ahead! Summer storm season has shown up this year with a vengeance. With flooding in Texas, tornados in Oklahoma, and more, this year is shaping up to be a monster season.
While we can’t really help what the weather does (or really predict it past more than a few days), there are a few things we can do to protect ourselves and our families for when those strong storms come knocking. These 10 ways to prep for summer storms are just a few ideas that you may want to consider.
10 Ways to Prep for Summer Storms
Did you know that the average American family keeps a food supply of 3 days or less in their fridge, freezer, and cabinets? If the power is knocked out at your home for longer, what would happen?
You would quickly run out of food. To prepare for that possibility, make sure you have at least a 2 week supply on hand.
Do you have to stock up on those survivalist freeze-dried MREs? No, you can find a lot of very suitable things in your local grocery store.
What kind of food? Think about ready-to-eat meals that only need to be heated up – like canned ravioli, chili, Spam, etc. Even canned condensed soups are a good bet.
Back in 2008, when the State of Wisconsin flooded, there were multiple cities that lost their water supply to contamination. In an emergency, water is one of the very first items to disappear.
Instead of having to scramble to find some for your family, store it now before you need it. Ideally, you’ll want to store 1 gallon, per person, per day, and extra for each pet that you have.
Power outages are no fun for anyone so be sure that you keep flashlights, a supply of batteries, candles, and matches on hand. If you’ve got small kids, you may want to consider flameless LED candles, just be sure to stock extra batteries if you’re going to use them.
Prep for Summer Storms with Batteries
Speaking of batteries? Flashlights and LED Candles aren’t the only things that take them. Make sure you have extras just in case you need them.
My big tip? Black Friday is when Menard’s has had a fantastic deal on both AA and AAA batteries – we always stock up and for literal pennies when compared to the rest of the year.
Do NOT get these at the local Dollar Store. I know it is tempting but they seriously don’t have that great a shelf life. It would really suck to need them and realize that they were dead.
Grab and Go
As little as we want to think about it, there are some situations where it’s best to not stay in your home. Flooding, fire from a lightning strike, roof leaks, and more. To prepare for this, be sure you have a Bug Out Bag for each family member that is packed and ready.
Keeping a few extra gallons of gas on hand serves two purposes. One, if you have a generator, you can use the gas to fuel it in the event that your power is out.
Two, it can also be used in your car to evacuate if needed. If you’re going to be storing it for a while, be sure to add a bottle of Stabil to it to keep it from going bad.
If the power goes out, you’ll still need to be able to keep up with the weather and any alerts. Picking up a NOAA Weather Radio will help you do that. Y
ou can find them as cheap as $13 on Amazon. Be sure you spend some time picking yours out because you can find them with a ton of different features.
This weather radio is our favorite as it a hand crank but also has a solar charge option. It is great for charging your phone too! It boasts these features:
NOAA weather radio with 7 NOAA channels to get the latest weather and hazard information
The hand crank radio flashlight cell phone charger with a 4000 mAh li-ion battery, which charges more than one smartphone in the emergency
4 Ways( Micro USB charge, Solar charge; Hand crank; Replaceable li-ion battery; ) to keep the hand crank generator on power
The electricity label will notice you clearly the electricity of the emergency radio
The flashlight radio with a super-bright 3 mode flashlight for any dark places you are in
Motion sensor reading lamp for you to get up in the mid-night to avoid waking your family
Prep for Summer Storms with Plywood
If you live in a hurricane-prone area, you may want to consider keeping some plywood on hand to cover windows with. While it may not fully prevent damage, it will help some. You’ll also need nails or staples and a hammer to make sure you can hang the sheets.
You may also want to look at the window film that secures against breakage.
Fire safe lockbox
Having a lockbox is a must to protect your important documents like birth certificates, social security cards, and any custody papers. Having them in a fire-safe box as well is just a second precaution.
Do you have renters or homeowners insurance? Storm damage is usually considered an “act of God” for insurance purposes which means that they will cover it. Flood insurance is not provided through an insurance company but through the federal government.
Both are typically very affordable and if by some tragedy, you would lose everything in a storm, your home and possessions are covered. On the same note, we never know what is going to happen and there have been many people killed by storms.
Make sure that you have proper life insurance as well. The last thing any of us want is to leave our family behind with no way to pay for debts or take care of themselves.
Other posts you may enjoy once you Prep For Summer Storms: